Simplicity is beauty – whether you are building a wood dock in Florida, or maintaining one. Although they require a bit more care, many owners of waterfront homes prefer this traditional material to composite decking or extruded PVC.
Because wood docks absorb the beautiful Florida sun, they present a gentle tactile, nice to walk on. Aesthetically, they showcase a rustic appeal. Along with rope rails and wood benches, you can truly create a unique ambiance with wood decking. Depending on the area in which you live and the overall décor of your outdoor space, this organic material can naturally integrate for a cohesive feel alongside your property’s shoreline.
The one caveat regarding wooden dock construction is that they require more maintenance than their plastic counterparts. While the assumption is more associated expense and the need to contend with cleaners that are potential pollutants (you will find these chemical-based dock cleaning products displayed with the paint thinners and solvents in the home improvement store), you do have options.
You can keep a wood dock looking great with natural products that are better for you and the environment. There is no need to deal with harsh chemicals or go to the expense of buying bottles of solutions.
Baking soda for example is a renowned stain remover. Vinegar and water are a formidable combo. A seemingly innocuous product that likely has a place in every pantry, vinegar is acid-based. It is powerful, yet biodegradable. White vinegar is also probably one of the most inexpensive items you can purchase at the supermarket.
Reader’s Digest offers up almost one hundred uses for vinegar in the home and garden and provides this great wood dock cleaning tip to help keep mildew at bay:
“Keep some full-strength white vinegar in a recycled spray bottle and use it wherever you see any mildew growth. The stain will wipe right off most surfaces, and the vinegar will keep it from coming back for a while.
Remove mildew from wood decks and wood patio furniture by sponging them off with a solution of 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda mixed in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Keep an old toothbrush on hand to work the solution into corners and other tight spaces.”
While there is certainly a consumer vertical chockful of chlorine-free and nontoxic formulas to clean wooden docks that won’t harm plants, people or pets – they are pricey. Many offer cautions to wear gloves due to the mixture’s high acidity and to be careful of slippery surfaces while using the product.
We love the dock designs that can be constructed of pressure-treated lumber. Wood docks provide the perfect palette to reflect deck lighting. Wood also showcases beautifully, whether a home’s architecture is contemporary or traditional.
They may require a little more love to keep looking good and extending their functional life, but wood docks are here to stay. Especially when you consider vinegar as part of a regular maintenance routine: the easy, affordable, organic, environmentally-friendly solution for cleaning wood docks.