Ultimate Guide to Piling Protection

Marine Construction / February 23, 2022

Piers or pilings are the basis of your dock, much like the structure of a home. As a result, it’s ideal if you integrate pier protection into your dock design process from the start, so your dock piers are secured. Pier and piling protection will cost you a little more. However, it will almost certainly save you money in the long term. However, if you’ve already built your dock piling or pier protection is still an option. Adding this protective barrier at any point can assist to delay any existing erosion and damage from the weather. As well as safeguard your dock posts and piles from additional physical damage. Ultimately, it’s never too early or too late to think about dock and pier piling protection. It’s something you should think about for the safety and durability of your dock. At Seaside Marine, we want to make sure you’re getting the best information on sea construction. Continue reading to discover the ultimate guide to piling protection. 

Piling Protection Types 

The condition of your piers or pilings will play a role in determining the best solution for your unique dock. Meanwhile, if you’re still in the design phase, you’ll have access to the most options.

1. Pile Sleeves 

Pile sleeves are a pile protection device that can be installed before or after the pile. Most must be heat-shrunk onto the pile at the lumber yard. This ensures that water and marine creatures never come into touch with the wood. Most pile sleeves also provide UV protection and are highly thorough in aiding in preventing damage from occurring in the first place.

2. Pile Wrap

Pile wrap can be applied on piers before or after they have been embedded. If the piers have previously been used, they must first be washed. The piles will next be wrapped in sheeting, which is normally black vinyl, and sealed. Typically, one side of the sheet will be above the waterline and the other will be below the mud line.

3. Pile Caps

Piling caps do not cover the “core” of the piling. Instead, they do prolong the life of the piling by avoiding sun damage to the top of the pole. They also keep rainwater from accumulating on pole tops and deter birds from sleeping (and excreting) on the pier. They’re also a pretty beautiful aesthetic accent and are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Factors That Affect Dock Piling 

Weather and Decay 

Clearly, regular weather conditions may have an influence on the life of a pier. For starters, it can impact any of the dock’s components, from the tiniest screws to the piers, anchoring, flooring, roof, and more. Rust, as well as other forms of corrosion and erosion, can be a problem. 

Then there are the “big storms,” which may wreak havoc on coastal communities and the docks that dwell there. Don’t forget about “plain old” deterioration—the normal degradation that occurs with many of the materials used in port construction.

Marine Life 

Water, in general, can contribute to the deterioration of dock piers and pilings. Concrete pilings are the only ones that are reasonably resistant. Concrete piers, on the other hand, aren’t always viable for every port, especially residential docks.

Limnoria is a group of microscopic crustaceans that attack wood close beneath the ocean’s surface. Limnoria will drill into and chew away at wood pilings, causing damage as more and more of the piling vanishes. These pilings frequently resemble an hourglass because the piece closest to the water’s surface deteriorates the fastest.

Shipworms, on the other hand, are quite sneaky. They float in the water as larvae smaller than one millimeter in size. The larvae dig deep into the wood, leaving just a little hole visible on the surface.  Shipworms begin to develop and consume once they are inside. Shipworms may grow to be up to two feet long and never leave their wooden nest.

Wear and Tear Overtime 

Really, this risk to your dock can be summed up by “regular wear and tear.” Docks are bound to experience some basic abuse that just naturally comes with use. This might mean getting kicked, nicked, or being bumped and smacked by boats. Any of these things can cause immediate costly damage to the dock that accumulates and also causes expenses to aggregate, over time.

Need Marine Construction Assistance? 

To ensure that a bespoke dock or seawall lasts for years, it must be designed with particular skill sets and knowledge. When you select a business to build a new dock or rebuild piling, you want reassurance that you made the right decision. 

Seaside Marine has spent many years mastering their craft and establishing a reputation for excellence across the Treasure Coast area. Their high-quality workmanship guarantees that you receive the aquatic utopia you want.

They make it simple to improve your beachfront property. From design, permits, and paperwork to the final nail in the last dock board, we manage it all. You tell us what you want, and we start working on it.

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