You finally have the shoreline you’ve always wanted: a picturesque boathouse with living and entertaining spaces that sits on a fantastic steel dock.
Whether your investment is $100,000 or $1 million-plus, you want the dock and boathouse to last for generations. And that starts by protecting the unseen areas that rest below the waterline with sacrificial anodes, explains Adam Metz, who co-owns Dock Shield with Mike and Dylan Welsh.
“Our sacrificial anodes were designed and tested in Muskoka to protect large shoreline structures,” says Adam. “The anodes attract the naturally occurring elements that cause rust and corrosion – they take the hit, so your steel dock doesn’t have to.”
And it makes financial sense. Installing an anode system costs less than one-tenth of the cost of a new steel dock. The anodes will need to be replaced after four or five years, which costs much less than the initial installation.
“You’re protecting your investment by spending only 0.75 to 1.29 percent of its value with a system guaranteed to work,” says Adam. “Considering your dock and boathouse are an appreciating asset, it’s just smart business.”
Compare that to rust-proofing a vehicle. A car depreciates in value quickly, and the treatment costs more relative to the value of the asset (.82 to 1.46 percent), yet most people apply rust proofing without a second thought.
“Dock and boathouse repairs can be quite costly,” says Dylan. “For a fraction of your investment, you can add a proven anode system that will help protect your investment.”
We asked Dr. Lindsay Grandy, PhD, a Postdoctoral Scholar in corrosion chemistry, to explain why steel corrodes and how sacrificial anodes help:
“Corrosion is the natural process that involves the transfer of electrons from metal to dissolved oxygen in water, resulting in the gradual destruction of the metal. All metals corrode due to a requirement of materials to tend towards the lowest energy state. While there is nothing we can do to stop corrosion, we can mitigate its impacts on metal infrastructure.
“Cathodic protection describes a system in which a secondary metal is placed next to the metal to be protected. The secondary metal is a more active metal (more susceptible to corrosion) and thus, will preferentially corrode and preserve the metal of interest. In this system, the more active metal is referred to as a galvanic anode or colloquially as the sacrificial anode.
“The steel components of your dock that are immersed in water would corrode, if a sacrificial anode, commonly magnesium, was not used. In fact, it is impossible for the steel to corrode if the metal magnesium still exists next to the steel. This is what makes cathodic protection such a strong method of mitigating corrosion.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN