News & Noteworthy
At Kroeger Marine we want to be the marine construction company our nearby lake communities trust and use to make their life around the water the best experience. We understand the investment homeowners, and businesses, make for a dock that will last. Here at Kroeger Marine, we have been crafting custom docks that last for over 37 years. We pride ourselves on the unparalleled craftmanship that allows us to provide custom docks that are built to withstand over three decades of use. But while our docks are designed to be long-lasting and stand the test of time, no docks are built to last forever.
Boat docks are not indestructible. They may be designed to withstand anything that is thrown at them, but the elements and activities of all the years can cause deterioration eventually. Docks are at the constant mercy of the water, receiving barrage after barrage of waves daily. They are enduring South Carolina’s heated rays of the sun and harsh winds, and not to mention natural wear-and-tear. All of this is bound to leave a mark at some point. Over time, especially without regular maintenance, the look and the resilience can deteriorate. Having to repair and replace your boat dock after years of use is expected over time, regardless of the material it is made from.
Therefore, as a dock owner, whether it is next to a small lake or the ocean, you have to look out for signs of damage. Determining if your dock needs repairs or a replacement is paramount to ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you. Dealing with any form of destruction on your dock as early as possible can save you a lot of pain.
Replacing your boat dock at the right time will keep you, your loved ones, and your boat safe. Plus, your new boat dock will give you the perfect reason to escape to the water for some fun in the sun. If you’re peering out at your old dock and wondering if it’s time to replace it, you’re not alone. A lot of people struggle with the decision to renew their dock. In some cases, the decision can be obvious and a matter of safety. In other situations, some troublesome signs could point to an eventual replacement but no dire need to make a switch right away. When it comes to making a replacement, we know docks. That said, we also know when it’s time to say goodbye to your outdated setup. Are things worse than they look, or better than they seem? Here are several factors that dictate when you need to go for dock repair, and when a full replacement is a better choice.
Foundation deterioration can be extremely dangerous. In most cases, it points to total dock replacement. The foundation is what supports the whole structure up, and once its integrity is compromised, the whole dock platform can come tumbling down into the water at the slightest of nudges. If you see any signs of cracking or bending in the foundation, it is time to do a total overhaul.
Warps, Bends and Dislodges: In the case of a metal dock installation, warps are a common sight due to the powerful force the docks endure from the waves. Over time they may start to warp and bend in the opposite direction of the waves. This could be a potential source of injury since bends and warps affect the stability of the surface. In the case of wooden decking, the water may cause weak joints to be dislodged.
Creaking Sounds: The only sound that should emanate from your boat docks is the sound of waves splashing. The moment you start hearing creaking sounds or the sound of the decking graining even with a light load like a person using the ramp, then that’s a sign that something might be weak within the structure. Creaking sounds can be a result of a weak foundation that is slowly losing its balance and footing. It’s always a good habit to have your dock inspected by professionals if this occurs to see if a replacement is in order or if a repair will suffice.
A Wobbly Dock: If you’re experiencing a lot of movement as you are walking across the deck, it’s time to check on the connectors. The constant movement from your boat due to windy conditions can wear and tear the connection points on your boat dock. Sometimes the screws or welds connecting the different joints of a dock can break or become weaker, making the structure sway every time a load is applied on it. You need to check them from time to time. If you see a broken weld or worn-out connection point, get it fixed before it can affect your dock’s structural integrity.
Cracks: It’s possible to get cracks in the wood without any wood rot. If you have a crack or two, you can repair the dock, but if it’s a widespread problem, it’s time to get a new boat dock. Widespread cracks are a sign that your dock has reached the end of its lifespan. The cracks will continue to pile up, and soon, your dock will be full of cracks that could damage the structural integrity.
Loose Decking Boards: If a decking board is coming loose, you will easily spot it. The effects of a loose board can be minimal to start, but the boards could eventually become hazardous over time. Since you walk, sit, and do other activities on the decking board, it is pertinent that you address any loose decking boards you find. However, like in warps and cracks, loose boards can easily be replaced when the damage is localized to a few boards.
Rust and Corrosion: You may choose to use metal structures for support as they are more stable and last longer. Unfortunately, if your boat dock contains any metal with iron in it, such as a steel dock, it will eventually be prone to rust and corrosion. You can repair small rust spots, but if rust has started to take over the dock, it can corrode the dock and create structural problems. The severity of rust in metal docks will determine if the dock’s foundation remains safe. Replace your dock before you have to deal with a serious problem. When considering materials if replacing, the ideal metal type to use is aluminum, as they are a more durable type of watercraft docks as they are impervious to rot, and they do not rust when they come into contact with water.
Rot and Decay: Wood naturally rots over time, so if you have a wooden dock, you need to be regularly inspecting for any signs of decay. If you spot a small rotten area ahead of time, you may be able to repair the rotted area. This indicates that your dock needs to be replaced in most cases, however, because a rotted spot could indicate a much larger problem. However, if the rot is detected in support beams, a quick decision must be made for the structural integrity of the entire dock. When you upgrade your dock, consider choosing composite or aluminum if you’ve had a problem with rotting and rust in the past. Composite and aluminum don’t rot like wood, and they aren’t prone to rust. That makes both good options if you’re looking for a low-maintenance boat dock.
Aging Hardware: If you notice that the hardware on your dock is aging, then it’s time to get them replaced. This includes things like hinges, poles, and locks. Hardware used in docks is essential because they are often used for structural integrity. Thus, aging hardware can be a sign that the dock may soon deteriorate and become unsafe. Fortunately, most people can handle this themselves, with the appropriate dock hardware.
YOU’RE FINDING MILDEW, MOSS, AND OTHER GROWTH ON THE DOCK
Cleaning your dock is a lot like flossing; we all know we should do it, but sometimes we get a bit too relaxed with regular maintenance. If you’re not remembering the last time you really did a deep clean on your dock, you might want to check for mildew, moss, and algae. Moisture and shade combine with an irregular cleaning routine to the growth of some unwanted visitors on your dock. When it comes to spotting growth, you can likely clean off and wash away smaller areas of growth. If you’re finding a ton of it, however, then it might be too late. Underneath you could find that moss and mildew spread a lot faster than first suspected. If that’s the case, then it’s time for a new dock. All of these can lead to rot and cause you some safety concerns in the long run.
YOU’VE OUTGROWN THE BOAT DOCK
Getting a new boat is one of the most exciting purchases. The joys of getting something new can quickly become a bit of a chore as you work it into your current setup. Simply put, there’s a chance you might not have a dock that fits your new boat. That’s okay – to be honest, it’s a great excuse to upgrade the dock. Plus, nothing matches a new boat better than a new dock. It’s a good opportunity to take your new boat and fit your dock’s look and style to your needs.
The last factor to consider is the age of the dock. If a dock is over 30 years old, chances are it needs to be replaced. Docks typically last around 20-30 years at most, and if there has been little maintenance done in that time, then it’s probably necessary replacement rather than repair. all docks are not made alike, and the dock materials and craftmanship will greatly influence the lifespan of your dock. But the signs will be there. Even if you don’t notice any conspicuous signs, docks this old should be thoroughly inspected for wear and tear.
When you peek at your dock, do you like what you see? Even without some of these more severe concerns, you might just look at your dock and think that it’s looking old. That’s just as valid as finding any of the problems above! Explore your options if you’re just looking out at an old dock and eager to get a replacement! A dock replacement is made easy with the modern materials and arrangements available today. Plus, it’s going to look great on the water and make you a lot happier.
A STRONG BASE FOR YEARS OF WATERFRONT FUN
When it’s time to replace your dock, take the time to learn the dock material options that are available to you. Let’s face it, you don’t want to buy a dock that you can use for a year or two. You’re hoping to make the decision that lasts a long enough time to get great years out of your new setup. That’s where aluminum is a very popular choice. If you’re someone who is so sick of having to worry about mold and mildew on your traditional wood dock, take the worry out of your situation by going aluminum. These benefits to aluminum docks are hard to pass up considering how impactful they can be for longevity, cost-effectiveness, and years of waterfront fun.
If you’re considering replacing or upgrading your existing structure, we’re ready to provide you with a range of options. For over 37 years, Kroeger Marine has built and maintained thousands of docks for customers just like you. We pride ourselves in the unparalleled craftsmanship that allows us to provide custom docks that are built to withstand over 3 decades of use, with routine care and maintenance. We also recently launched our Recycle Your Dock Program to assist in helping resell and remove your current dock while we work to build a new customized dock for you, designed to outperform and outlast, with pre-owned options available as well as a part of this program if that better suits your needs.
We understand that no two projects are alike, so whether you are looking to repair or replace, we can help provide all the tools necessary to make the process easy for you every step of the way.
Best of all, you won’t have to worry about replacing your dock again for years and years since Kroeger Marine products are built to last.