One of the most enjoyable parts of living in Florida is the ability to have easy access to the water year round. This means there are thousands of single family docks and hundreds of marinas in Florida to enjoy boating. Many of the docks and marinas in Florida have begun to age to the point where they are in need of major reconstruction, and in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane they may suffer significant damage. To repair a dock after a storm requires major demolition and often faces higher costs due to the increase in workload for the contractors. It is for this reason a property owner or marina owner should understand the condition of their docking facility.
In many cases a dock assessment will be conducted at the same time as a seawall or bulkhead assessment. The dock assessment report will include many items that your home inspector or contractor can not and will not provide. All of our inspections are performed in and below the water line, as well as above the water line. We feel that the owner or potential owner should have the best information from an unbiased qualified professional to make the right decision regarding near term and long term maintenance of their docking facility. The Dock Assessment Report will include the following information:
Most docks in Florida are built using wood piles, structural members, and decking. The structural members typically include pile caps that support the stringers which run along the axis of the dock to support the decking. The pile caps are typically connected to the piles and use either stainless steel or galvanized thru-bolts. The connections for each element have the ability to corrode over time and may result in failure of the dock prior to the wood aging beyond it's design life and vice versa. Additionally, the piles are subject to rotting and can be attacked and damaged by marine boring organisms. Many piles will begin to show these signs either at the mudline or at the waterline. This is why it is very important that the company you enlist to inspect your dock structure do a complete in and below water inspection.
Hurricanes impact the coastline of Florida every year and in many cases can be catastrophic. The forces associated with rising tides, storm surge, and waves have the ability to cause extreme damage on all structures built on Florida's waterways. There is no way to determine at what point will your docking facility sustain major damage due to a storm event; however, there are several practical things you can do to make sure that your docking facility has the best chance to withstand the storm. We would love to discuss these possibilities with you when we perform your dock assessment.
Types of docks vary on geography and time frame they were designed and constructed in. We have inspected docks across the entire State of Florida including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, Jupiter, Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Aventura, Miami Beach, Key Largo, Tampa, New Port Richey, Tarpon Springs, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach, Bradenton, Venice, Sarasota, Amelia Island, Siesta Key, Englewood, Boca Grande, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and parts in-between.