What you should know about aluminum boat dock maintenance
Need a boat dock that's going to last and look good throughout its life? You can't go wrong with an aluminum dock.
Aluminum is one of the most popular materials used for building boat docks. Why? For many reasons, actually. In this blog post, we'll aim to touch on a few of the pros of using this awesome metal.
Aluminum boat docks look great
Not only does aluminum offer many practical benefits, which we will get into if you continue reading, but it also looks great when used for boat docks, fishing piers and other waterfront structures.
And many owners of property on lakes and rivers have noticed. In fact, a high demand for aluminum docks is why VW Docks started designing and manufacturing them in the first place back in 1996.
Fast forward to 2020 and our aluminum sectional dock system is our most popular option. One of the primary reasons is because they are so aesthetically appealing. Think about it: There's no need for painting, staining, sealing or sanding like there is with some wood dock options.
Aluminum docks hold up and look better for a considerable amount of time.
Lightweight but also durable
Aluminum is a perfect material for many outdoor projects, including boat docks, because it is a very light-weight metal that is also resistant to corrosion and chemical damage.
In fact, when aluminum is exposed to air, it can grow a thin coating of oxide. This coat helps to protect the metal because it forms a harder layer that holds up better when exposed to elements. There are also certain lacquers and waxes that can be added to aluminum that will protect the metal from corrosion and weathering.
In some cases, other metals can be added to aluminum. This makes for harder alloys. Overall, though, aluminum itself is very durable and does not require much maintenance at all.
Aluminum that's outside is fairly easy to clean, as long as any grime is not allowed to sit for too long. Many outdoor aluminum furniture or equipment can be cleaned properly by using certain solvents.
However, these solvents should always be tested first to make sure they won't damage the aluminum. Plus, for boat docks, you should always check to make sure any chemical you are using to clean the dock area is safe for the environment.
Easy assembly and removal
Because it is so light when compared to other metals, aluminum boat docks are easy to assemble and remove during the off-season.
Installation of aluminum sectional docks is incredibly easy. For example, the VW Docks aluminum sectional dock features Walk On Water installation. This means the dock is designed to allow you to install and remove the dock and each of its sections without ever getting in the water. Every step of installation and removal is done above the water.
Fully customizable design
Aluminum docks are just as customizable as any other dock tupe. The designs can be tailored to those who need handicap accessibility in mind, which make aluminum docks ideal for resorts, campgrounds, parks, marinas and cottages - especially when durability and low maintenance factors are also considered.
You can see for yourself how some people have chosen to layout their docks in our gallery.
Not as susceptible to rust and corrosion
Unlike metals such as iron and steel, aluminum is much less likely to rust. Plus, if the metal is of a higher grade, then it will also experience much fewer corrosion issues.
This makes an aluminum dock a great investment when you want to maximize a dock's lifespan.
How to care for aluminum boat docks
Sure, aluminum is widely regarded as being low maintenance and long-lasting, but it can still get dirty. Cleaning aluminum docks the right way takes a little bit of research.
Before you head outside to your boat dock to begin cleaning, you should research whether or not you have a cleaner that is safe for the environment. Many of the cleaning products that you would use around the house can be detrimental to water quality and could harm aquatic life and even people who enjoy the lake or river's recreational opportunities.
Your best bet is to find a cleaning agent that is biodegradable and phosphate-free and also has a neutral pH. The Environmental Protection Agency has an online resource called the Safer Choice Standard that can point you toward cleaning products that are better for the environment.
This resource looks at the ingredients in cleaning products and ranks every ingredient to make sure they fall within EPA criteria. Simply look up a product by name or browse products sorted by their use to see if it's a safe choice for use near a body of water.
Baking soda is one common cleaning solution that is considered to be safe for use for use on docks.
Add value to your property
When it comes to lakeside property, a boat dock can add value to your property - if it is well-constructed and cared for, of course.
That's where aluminum's qualities of being easy to care for, easy on the eyes and long-lasting come into play. Having a quality boat dock could potentially help boost property values.
While this increase may not be reflected in an official manner, such as in a property value assessment from the county, it could help a seller justify a higher asking price in the event they wish to sell the property.
Ready to design your dream boat dock?
Interested in looking further into an aluminum boat dock for your lakefront or riverside property? Look no further. The team at VW Docks welcomes the challenge of any custom design - and brings a considerable amount of experience to the table. We've been in this business since 1959.
We are proud to say that our docks are known by many to be of excellent quality and value. Trust us - you will not be disappointed.
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