Water and wood are a bad combination. When you have marine structures, wood features become water logged as they absorb moisture and can be a challenge to care for. Some of the options you have include treating wood with sealant or replacing it with modern synthetic materials. In addition, maintenance and cleaning is important to reduce wear of any materials used in marine environments. Here are some tips to help you care for and improve wood in marine structures like docks, boathouses and seawalls:
1. Cleaning Wood and Other Materials to Keep Water Problems at Bay
The biggest problem that you are going to face with wood in a marine environment is fungus and algae that attack the wood and cause decay. Keeping your marine structures clean will help stop the growth of fungus and prevent the rapid decay of wood materials. Regularly scrub down the wood surfaces with a stiff-bristled broom to get grime and growth out of the grains. The cleaning is something that you may want to do more often during warmer weather when problems with fungus and algae are more common.
2. Protect Materials in Marine Environments with Sealants and Paint
Sealant and paint is used to protect materials in a marine environment, and needs to be done regularly. Since the marine environment exposes materials to extreme conditions, the paint and sealant can where faster than it would in other conditions. You may need to apply sealant to wood more often than you would the deck on your home. The painting will need to be done when you see signs of aging on painted surfaces, such as chips and bubbling.
3. Pressure Washing and Staining Wood to Prevent Rapid Weathering
Before you do a painting or sealant project, pressure washing may be a good idea to clean surfaces and restore wood. Before you start any work by the water, make sure that any environmental requirements are met, which means keeping contaminates out of the water. These jobs are best done when water levels are down, where tarps can be used to protect against chemical pollutants from getting in bodies of water. If it is not possible to do these tasks during low-tide or when water levels are low, use a barge or floating platform to protect the environment.
4. Using Composite Lumber and Other Materials for Reduced Maintenance and Extra Durability
Wood materials tend to rot in a marine environment, and no matter how much maintenance you do, they are going to eventually need to be replaced. Instead of using real wood, consider composite lumber materials for things like decking or railings. The composite materials can be used with different types of structural materials too, such as concrete and steel. There are also different treated landscaping timbers that can be used for things like seawalls, which have special treatments applied to them to prevent rot in moist environments.
With good maintenance and car, your marine structures will last for years with only minor repairs. Contact landscaping supply service to get materials such as, treated landscaping timbers, concrete retaining wall blocks and other materials for your marine construction projects. Companies like Jensen Tiewalls may be able to help.