If you own a business that relies on a waterfront deck, you know how important it is to maintain its structural integrity and appearance. A well-maintained deck not only looks good but also ensures the safety of your employees and customers.
However, over time, even the most well-built marine decks can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements and heavy use. As industry experts, we understand the steps you need to take to effectively remodel dock decking, as well as tips on maintenance to extend the lifespan of your dock.
Step 1: Assess the Deck’s Condition
The first step in remodeling a marine deck is to assess its current condition. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracked, splintered or rotting deck boards, loose fasteners or rusted hardware. Make a list of all the repairs that need to be made and understand the amount of work that needs to be done on your dock
Deck repair costs can vary depending on the extent of the damage, the materials used and the labor required. If the deck requires extensive repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace deck boards or even the entire deck. Keep in mind that the cost of deck repairs is often less than the cost of a deck replacement, so it’s worth exploring all your options before making a decision.
Contact A Professional
When replacing a commercial deck, contacting a professional can be extremely useful in a variety of ways. A professional marine contractor can provide expert guidance on permitting, material selection, design and installation techniques. They can also help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that could lead to costly deck repairs down the line, like failure to adhere to local building codes and regulations.
A professional deck contractor can help you save time by taking care of all aspects of the deck replacement project, including obtaining necessary permits and materials, coordinating with suppliers and managing the construction timeline.
While hiring a professional marine contractor may seem like an added expense, it can actually save you money in the long run. A professional can help you avoid costly mistakes that could require additional deck repairs or replacements in the future and can also help you find cost-effective solutions to fit your budget. When it comes to replacing a commercial marine deck, time really is money. No one can use your deck while you’re replacing it, so the faster and more efficient you can make that process, the better.
Step 2: Decide Which Deck Material You Want To Invest In
Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons of these common deck materials:
Composite Deck Boards
Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibers, plastics and other materials. It is resistant to rot, decay and insect damage and does not require regular staining or sealing. Composite decking comes in a variety of colors and styles and can mimic the look of natural wood.
However, composite decking is often more expensive than other decking materials. In addition, composite decking can get extremely hot in direct sunlight, and on a commercial deck in the summer, there’s a good chance the people who use your deck will wind up accidentally contacting the deck with their bare skin.
Wood Deck Boards
One benefit of wooden deck boards is that wood is often less expensive than other decking materials. Wood is easy to cut and shape, making it a versatile material for quick deck construction. On the other hand, wood requires regular staining and sealing to prevent rot, decay and insect damage. These added maintenance costs may result in you spending more money in the long run.
Vinyl Deck Boards
Similar to composite deck boards, vinyl decking is resistant to rot, decay and insect damage and does not require regular staining or sealing. Vinyl decking is long-lasting and can withstand exposure to harsh weather conditions and heavy foot traffic and comes in a variety of colors and styles and can mimic the look of natural wood. Vinyl decking does fall on the more expensive side of marine decking, and just like composite boards, vinyl decking can get hot in direct sunlight.
Polypropylene Plastic Deck Boards
Polypropylene plastic is a highly durable material that can withstand exposure to harsh marine environments, including saltwater, UV rays and heavy foot traffic. This makes it ideal for use in commercial marine decking applications where durability and longevity are key considerations.
Polypropylene plastic decking is resistant to rot, decay and insect damage and does not require regular staining or sealing. Polypropylene’s exceptional UV resistance means it stays cooler than nearly any other deck material, even under direct summer sunlight.
Polypropylene plastic decking can initially be more expensive than wood decking. However, under normal circumstances, a polypropylene deck won’t need to be replaced for potentially decades, saving on replacement and repair costs down the road.
Step 3: Start Remodeling
Once the assessment is complete, the next step is to design the new deck. This may involve working with a professional designer or architect to create a plan that meets your business’s needs and complies with any relevant regulations. If you’re trying to expand the capacity of your commercial dock, consider new designs that allow for larger crafts to moor or wider-spaced docks that allow more boats to navigate your dock than before.
For the actual nitty-gritty of dismantling old marine decking, follow these steps:
- Disconnect any utilities: If the old decking is attached to the building or has utilities running through it, such as electrical or plumbing lines, these will need to be disconnected or rerouted before dismantling the deck.
- Remove the decking: The process of removing the decking will depend on the type of deck and the materials used. For example, if the deck is made of wood, it may be possible to pry up the deck boards with a crowbar or other tool. If the deck is made of composite or PVC materials, it may need to be cut into sections and removed piece by piece.
- Dispose of the debris: Once the old decking has been removed, it will need to be disposed of properly. This may involve renting a dumpster or other large container or hiring a waste removal service to haul away the debris.
Now you’re ready to begin installing your new deck. With the old deck removed, the next step is to begin construction on the new deck. This may involve pouring new footings, installing support posts and beams and laying the deck boards. Some deck types are easier to install than others. For wooden decks, you have to go board by board, but with certain deck materials like polypropylene, you can screw on large panels at once, dramatically speeding up the remodeling process.
Once the new deck is constructed, it will need to be finished to protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan. This may involve staining or sealing the deck boards and installing any necessary railings or lighting fixtures.
Step 4: Maintain Your New Marine Decking
Once the remodeling of your commercial marine deck is complete, it’s important to take steps to ensure that the deck remains in solid condition and continues to provide a safe and functional space for your business. Here are some steps you can take to maintain your new marine deck:
- Know the maintenance requirements: Different decking materials have different maintenance requirements, so it’s important to understand what is required to keep your deck looking glorious. Some materials, such as composite or PVC decking, require very little maintenance beyond periodic cleaning, while others, such as wood decking, may require regular staining or sealing to protect against moisture and UV damage.
- Conduct regular inspections: It’s important to regularly inspect your marine deck for signs of damage or wear, particularly after storms or extreme temperatures. Look for cracked or splintered boards, loose fasteners or other signs of damage that may compromise the safety or functionality of the deck.
- Keep the deck clean: Regular cleaning is an important part of maintaining your marine deck, as it helps prevent the buildup of dirt, debris and other contaminants that can contribute to decay or damage over time. Depending on the type of decking material you have chosen, cleaning may involve simple soap and water, a specialized deck cleaner or other cleaning products.
The Best Commercial Marine Decking Material
Polypropylene is an excellent choice for commercial marine decking because it is a strong and durable material that can withstand harsh marine environments. It is also cost-effective, requiring little upkeep and saving time and money during installation. Additionally, polypropylene is resistant to rot, mildew and insects, making it ideal for use in wet environments. Overall, its combination of strength, cost-effectiveness, low maintenance and quick installation makes it the best commercial marine decking material you can get.
Here at Titan Deck, we produce high-quality, 100% polypropylene decking that is specifically designed for use in harsh marine environments. The decking is molded using state-of-the-art equipment, which ensures consistent thickness and a uniform finish.
Titan Deck’s manufacturing process also includes the use of UV inhibitors and other additives that help to prevent fading, staining and degradation caused by exposure to the sun, saltwater and other environmental factors. Additionally, the decking is designed with a unique non-slip surface that provides exceptional traction, even when wet.
For more information on our various polypropylene plastic marine decking solutions, check out our high-quality products and contact our deck professionals for more information.