Do I need a new dock? 

                 Do I NEED A NEW DOCK?

Docks that are several years old will show some signs of wear. It might be the decking, or it could be the frames. Either way, your dock needs yearly inspections. It’s especially true this year.

Why? You guessed it – the storms. At least two things are happening. Record-setting water levels mean the waves can dislodge trees, logs, and other floating objects that have been sitting dormant on the shore for years. They get washed along the beaches and could hit your dock or boat lift during a storm.

Other docks or decking from your neighbors’ pier can be washed out too. That debris could also hit your dock. Don’t forget about the jet skis and boats that get dislodged in the significant storms.

How many times does it take to cause damage to a dock or boat lift? 

        Dock damage

Once could be enough. Imagine a boat or log floating under your dock or into your boat lift. The next wave pushes it up against the bottom of your dock or lift. With the wood hung up under the frames, they get twisted by the waves. Here’s the result.

Is the hardware still holding tight? 

At one point, at least one manufacturer’s decking was glued and stapled. This decking did not have enough support under the decking, either. The constant flexing of the panels and the natural wood shrinkage meant the staples loosened, and the glue let go. 

Consider replacing a wooden decked pier with a different material. If the frames are sound, you may be able to use the Flow-through decking options.

Flow-Through decking is considered the best decking available. For more information, click HERE.

What about the frames?

                   Is your dock frame bent?

How much wear and tear is the question. Proper maintenance of a dock system can help keep it looking beautiful for a long time. Some types of damage are easily repaired. Others need a lot of work.

But, if your dock is getting dangerous and unreliable, replacement might be the best option. Here are some more signs that you should think about investing in a brand new dock.



Widespread Rust

           Do I need a new dock?

Certain types of metal used around water will rust. Painted, and even powder-coated metals will need regular upkeep to keep ahead of the rust.

Large areas of rust will spread. They eat away at the dock frames. If the metal rusts through, it can cause breakage in other areas too.

In cases like this, a completely new dock might be necessary. 

Aluminum docks are made of rustproof metal and are a great option when considering upgrading or replacing a failing dock.

Have wood – will rot, Discolor, Split … You get the point!

Wooden docks can rot when water seeps into the wood. Moss, mildew, algae, and other growth can trap moisture in the wood decking, worsening the situation. However, it can be solved or prevented by keeping your dock clean and well maintained. 

If a small area is experiencing rot, replace the individual components with new, treated lumber. But, when multiple areas are rotting, it’s time to replace your dock. 

Consider replacing a wooden pier with different materials, including aluminum painted to look like wood, which is one of the premium ShoreMaster decking options.

Cracked or Warping Dock Supports

Has any boat come in “hot” (too fast) and hit the frames or vertical supports? Maybe a wave pushed your boat faster than expected or in the wrong direction. Accidents happen! 

While the damage may appear only superficial, it’s essential to check all the welds in the immediate area.

Don’t let this type of damage go unattended. With the current rash of storms and high water, this type of damage can quickly become critical.

Minor cracks in small areas may require welding or the replacement of some parts. If major load-bearing areas have significant damage, it’s better to stay safe and replace the structure. 

Can a permanent dock be damaged?

Permanent docks sit on large pipes or underdeck support systems. Assessing the damage below the waterline, let alone repairing it, requires specialized equipment. 

Dock foundations are subject to:

  • Water movement, 
  • Changing temperatures, 
  • Currents, 
  • Ice movement, and 
  • Other factors that can cause foundation shifts and severe damage. 

Cracking is a sign that further investigation and possibly replacement of your docking system will be needed.

Posts Can’t Be Set Properly?

Permanent boat docking systems have supports to hold them up. In some instances, the support pipes must be driven up to 100 feet deep at times to find the solid rock. Even then, winter ice can grip the outside of the post and raise it again.

If the ice raises your posts, it might be time to replace your dock. Look into a floating aluminum or steel dock that adapts to fluctuating water conditions. This type of dock can be removed in winter or protected by a “de-icer” system. The “de-icer” system prevents the ice from locking onto the pipes and being drawn back up.

Custom Docking Systems – Pier & Waterfront Solutions

If it’s time to replace or upgrade your boat docking system, PWS can help. We are the experts in the waterfront business. We have helped many shoreline owners find their perfect waterfront solution – it’s written right into our name.

Did you know PWS has new and used aluminum or steel docks and lifts available? We also have the New 3-Season Pier (steel) for the roughest of waters. 

Need an entirely new aluminum dock system or the perfect accessory? Pier & Waterfront Solutions has a support team that can help. 

Remember, Pier & Waterfront Solutions (PWS) specializes in Waterfront Solutions for docks and lifts. 

For more information and what works best for your area, contact Jerry @ (920) 493-4404 TODAY – or – fill out this simple quote request form.

Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?

Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, it’s 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay, and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM (heading north). Look on the right side, one mile north, at the next intersection (Idlewild Road and Hwy 57).


During this time of uncertainty, Pier & Waterfront Solutions has stayed “open.” We have implemented measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors. At the same time, we are working to maintain the trusted service that you have come to expect.

We are conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.  Site visits will continue as usual. When in-person contacts are necessary, we will follow “social distancing” guidelines.

Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing, please reference that number.

We provide estimates and invoices by email to make the process paperless and faster.  With these measures, we hope everyone will stay safe, and we will be back to normal operations soon. 

What can YOU do to help us? 

Please conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and emails.  When you see our crews installing equipment, please practice “social distancing.”

Please call, message, or email us with any questions.

Thank you for allowing us to work with you.

Let’s all stay safe!