When building your Florida dock project, the following materials below work best due to their ability to withstand moisture and the Florida hot sun. These materials are wood or composite decking. Each of these options has benefits worth considering.
Pressure Treated Wood
Pressure treated lumber is a great choice for docks because it’s durable and affordable. The pressure treatment in the wood helps resist fungus, wood-boring pests and decay. Pressure treated wood requires annual power washing and annual or semi-annual sealing to prevent splitting, cracking or warping.
Ipe wood from Central and South America is a relatively new dock material and offers the beauty of wood with good resistance to insects and excellent weathering characteristics. Ipe wood is very durable and dense with a strength and hardness that makes it ideal for docks and decks. Ipe wood requires regular cleaning and re-oiling annually or semi-annually depending on sun exposure.
Composite decking has familiar brand names including Trex and Azek. It’s a hybrid product made mostly of recycled plastic and wood fibers. Composite decking is weather and stain resistant, heavy, dense and doesn’t warp, split, rot or splinter. This type of decking requires minimal maintenance as you never have to sand, scrape, stain, oil or refinish it. As with all decking, it may require occasional washing to remove dirt, mildew and mold that from the dock. The colors for composite decking vary. Some manufacturers have started offering fade-resistant styles that prevent fading from sun exposure. You can find composite decking with realistic-looking wood grain patterns in the surface so you have the beauty of wood without the added maintenance.
If you like the idea of composite decking, but prefer real wood railings, you can use a combination of materials to create your custom dream deck. A wooden railing may benefit from the use of a composite top plate that won’t warp or split as real wood can over time.
No matter what type of material you use for the surface decking of your dock, it’s vital that you have pilings that can hold up to being in the water all the time. Seawall Doctors, use marine grade wood for pilings and dock substructures to ensure longevity and durability of their installations. If you are looking to build or repair your dock call the Seawall Doctors today at 561-367-3302.