You expect your steel dock to last as long as your cottage. And it can, but only if it’s adequately protected.
“While we expect a steel dock to last forever, unprotected steel will quickly start to corrode,” says Adam Metz, who co-owns Dock Shield with Mike and Dylan Welsh.
Part of the problem lies in how steel docks are cared for, or more often, not cared for.
“We change the oil in our cars, we service our furnaces and change the filters, but until now, there have been no preventive measures advised for protecting steel dock piles,” says Adam.
That has changed with the introduction of sacrificial anodes.
Mike notes that anodes are not widely used in residential dock construction. However, they are a time-tested tool used to protect larger ships and even small motorboats from decay.
“If you have a boat parked beside your dock, it has an anode that protects the lower unit of the engine,” says Dylan.
Sacrificial anodes work because corrosion is an electrochemical reaction. Steel is relatively electrically stable compared to more active metals like magnesium or aluminum. Attach an active metal to the steel piles, and that active metal will begin to corrode first, leaving the steel unaffected. The active metal is “sacrificed” to protect the steel.
While some anodes use electricity, Dock Shield’s system is completely passive, meaning there’s no electricity used to keep it going. “Electricity and water don’t go well together, so we decided to design a system without it.”
Dock Shield’s anodes are designed to protect your steel dock piles for a minimum of five years. When they’re ready to be replaced, they’re designed to be unscrewed and replaced with another, like you would a light bulb.
The solution is not only simple, but it’s also environmentally safe and cost-efficient, especially when compared to the cost of replacing your steel dock.
“Replacing a steel dock is not a cheap or easy project,” says Adam.
If you plan on leaving your cottage to family, or simply want to make sure it lasts for years to come, there’s no better time to book a dock inspection.
“Using our underwater drone, we can capture photos and videos of your steel piles, and properly diagnose what’s needed to protect them,” says Dylan.
“What you choose to do today will help you out tomorrow,” says Adam. “Sacrificial anodes offer an easy solution at less than a tenth of the cost of replacing your steel dock.”
TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE | PHOTOS SCOTT TURNBULL