Can My Floating Platform Dock Stay in the Water Year Round?
Your floating platform dock is perfectly safe during spring, summer, and fall. Winter, however, is the season to worry about. Ice can cause a lot of damage to your floating dock. We detail all you need to know about caring for your floating platform dock here.
Why You May Need To Remove Your Docks During Winter
When water frequently freezes up and melts, as we see in winter, the ice expands and contracts, creating a lot of pressure. This pressure could get as strong as 50 tons, and for regular docks, that’s a lot to deal with. What’s more, when your floating dock is installed over a large open lake or ocean, you risk damage from an ice shove. An ice shove is a surge of broken ice pushed against your dock at great force due to strong winds and fluctuating water levels.
Without taking the right measures, your floating dock simply gets destroyed by ice, and you would need to look for new floating platform in spring.
What to Do During Winter
Thankfully, unlike standing docks, floating docks can be saved from these impacts caused by ice. You have three options here — either remove the dock completely, disconnect the dock hinges and anchors, or tow your dock to a protected bay area. You choose the latter two options when removing the dock is almost impossible.
When you disconnect/loosen your dock’s anchor and hinges, the dock floats freely in the water. This allows it to settle with the ice without resisting those destructive amounts of pressure. Now, towing to a protected bay area helps you limit damage to the most minimal.
Protecting Your Floating Docks
It may be risky to decide to leave your dock in the water during the winter, depending on how severe the winters are in your area. In the fall, we strongly advise you to take the time to assess and care for your floating dock properly.