How to Care for Aluminum Boat Docks

One of the biggest draws for aluminum boat docks is the little amount of maintenance that they need in comparison to other materials like wood. They’re low maintenance and long-lasting, but like anything that is out in the water, they do accumulate dirt and grim over time. Low maintenance doesn’t mean no-maintenance, and that’s why today we’re discussing how to care for your aluminum boat dock!

Washing, cleaning, and maintaining your boat dock may not always be as simple as it sounds. In some situations, it may be ideal to hire professionals to handle your dock. But with regular care, and a little bit of research, you may find it easier to just tackle yourself!

Start off by inspecting your dock.

Before you can decide how to tackle cleaning your dock, it’s important to do a thorough inspection of the dock and dock accessories. This is a good time to evaluate the general state of the dock, checking for signs of wear and tear, or any lost parts like small nuts or bolts. Don’t forget to take some time checking all the dock accessories like ladders, lifts, benches, etc. Make note of and address any repairs that need to be completed before you begin cleaning.

Use a pressure washer to carefully clean the dock

One of the best parts of an aluminum dock is that you don’t have to worry too much about doing any damage using a pressure washer. Wood docks require you to carefully watch your pressure, so you don’t damage the wood, but that’s not a concern with your aluminum dock! A power washer is a simple, eco-friendly, and effective way to quickly remove a significant amount of grime, dirt, and algae that may be building up on your dock.

Make sure to use eco-friendly, approved cleaners

This is where you’ll need to do a little bit of research as you can’t use just any commercial cleaner. Because your dock is over a water-source, it’s important to use cleaners that are approved for this kind of purpose. Look for a cleaning agent that is biodegradable and phosphate-free with a neutral pH. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an online resource called the Safer Choice Standard that can point you in the right direction. Many, if not most, standard household cleaners rely on chemicals like bleach or ammonia to clean, and neither of those are appropriate for use around bodies of water. The good news is that the power-washer should handle most of the mess, you should only need to spot-treat some of the trickier areas. If you find you have spots of mildew that keep coming back, a diluted white vinegar solution in a spray bottle or a baking soda paste made with a bit of water are excellent, environmentally friendly alternatives. Always spot treat to make sure discoloration isn’t an issue. If you have significant issues that a power washer and minimal spot treatment isn’t handling, it may be time to look for a professional service.

Regularly inspecting your dock and keeping up with a basic routine of power-washing and spot treatments will increase the longevity of your already long-lasting, durable aluminum dock. If you are curious to learn more about our options for custom aluminum docks, contact Pier Perfection today!