Dock pilings serve as foundations supporting different marine structures like docks and piers. They should thus be solid and durable enough to keep the structure from falling into the water or getting pushed away by the wave.

However, constant water and weather exposure can damage the pilings and affect the dock’s integrity. The structure may suddenly collapse and cause devastating injuries to anyone on the platform during the accident.

Fortunately, you may prevent accidents on your waterfront property by keeping your dock’s foundation in good condition. Immediately fixing any piling damage prevents it from worsening. While major repairs are best left to the professionals, here are some dock piling repair tips worth knowing.

Six Important Dock Piling Repair Tips

  • Watch Out for Signs of Piling Damage

Immediate repairs can prevent severe structural problems to your entire dock. So make it a point to inspect its pilings and watch out for these signs regularly:

  • Cracks and dents
  • Rust and calcification
  • Molds and rots on wood pilings
  • Creaking sound
  • Wobbling dock
  • Consider Your Piling Material

Dock pilings could consist of wood, vinyl, concrete, or steel, and each material has its unique maintenance and repair requirements. It’s thus essential to consider the dock piling type you have for a perfect repair solution.

For example, sealing cracks can repair a damaged concrete piling, but it’s not suitable for repairing rusty steel pilings.

  • Determine the Cause of Damage

There are multiple possible causes for damaged dock pilings, and each reason requires unique solutions. For example:

  • Water damages dock pilings by making metal rust, wood rot, and concrete break. So, waterproofing the dock pilings that facing constant water exposure for many years can help. 
  • Harsh weather conditions cause piling materials to deteriorate faster than usual. For example, constant extreme heat exposure can crack wood piling, while storm surges can beat hard on the piling to bend or break it. It’s thus best to protect them with quality piling sleeves or wraps
  • Different marine organisms may damage your dock’s foundation over time. Shipworms, known to eat wood pilings and cause infestation, are an example of such a marine organism. While it’s possible to remove a few marine organisms from the pilings manually, you may have to replace an infested foundation. 
  • Human activities can also damage dock pilings over time or in one forceful accident. For example, frequently placing heavy machines on a dock may lead to its collapse after some time. Boats may also crash on ports to cause severe damage.
  • Select Between Repair or Replacement

In case of significant problems, you must decide whether to repair the dock piling or replace it.

As a rule of thumb, you may make minor repairs like replacing worn-out piling wraps or rusty nails or screws. However, you must consider dock piling replacement for severe damage like large cracks, shipworm infestation, and excessive corrosion.

  • Call an Expert for the Job

While you can handle minor repairs, consulting a piling contractor is better for significant and extensive maintenance. They are better at:

  • Determining and providing the best solution for your dock piling damage
  • Using appropriate tools and machines for an efficient and quick project
  • Securing necessary permits before starting to avoid legal penalties
  • Keeping the marine ecosystem safe from harm
  • Addressing additional problems arising from their work, like a slip and fall, as they have insurance coverage and warranty deals. 

For example, if you need wood piling replacement, a professional contractor knows and can provide the correct hardwood, like redwood, cypress, or douglas fir. They will also apply proper wood treatment and additional coating to produce durable pilings.

  • Properly Maintain Your Dock Foundation

After repairing or replacing your dock piling, it’s crucial to keep it in good condition with these maintenance tips:

  • Protect the pilings with wraps and caps to prevent damage. You also have to replace these protective items regularly.
  • Clean the pilings from top to bottom whenever you clean your dock. Be sure you remove rust stains, calcium build-up, molds, and mosses. 
  • While maintaining the dock piling, inspect the structure and watch out for the signs of damages mentioned above.

Hire a Dock Piling Repair Service for Quality Dock Foundation

Different factors may damage your dock’s foundation, which remains submerged underwater over time.

Proper piling repair and maintenance is thus crucial for keeping your marine structure in good shape and avoiding devastating accidents.

The guide above can help with your repair tasks. However, hiring an expert dock piling repair contractor helps ensure quality outcomes.

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