If shipworms damaged your dock's pilings, you may want to replace the wood with something stronger than what you currently have. Shipworms are bothersome pests that eat untreated wood. If you don't replace the wood of your dock with a wood species like Brazilian walnut, your dock won't last. Here's what you should know about shipworms and how Brazilian walnut protects your dock from them.
What Are Shipworms?
Shipworms are tiny mollusks that live in saltwater. The pests cling to the wooden pilings of your dock in large groups. Unless you inspect your dock carefully, you won't notice shipworms from a distance. In most cases, shipworms burrow inside the wood before they eat it.
Shipworms can weaken the pilings until they sway in the wind or wobble when strong currents push against them in the water. Walking on your dock when it has these problems can be dangerous. The weak pilings can eventually give out and collapse into the water.
To keep you and other people safe, replace your damaged wooden pilings with Brazilian walnut pilings.
How Does Brazilian Walnut Protect Your Dock?
Brazilian walnut is one of the toughest hardwoods available for dock building and repairs because the wood contains bitter natural oils that deter wood-boring pests. The wood ranges in color from brown to black and doesn't require sealant to protect it from the elements. Brazilian walnut is ideal for docks because the wood is thick enough to withstand water and moisture, as well as the sun's heat.
You may wish to replace the entire dock with Brazilian walnut to improve its appearance. However, it may take longer to build the dock because Brazilian walnut is typically hard to cut and nail. Your dock repair contractor can discuss the expected construction time with you before they begin.
Is There Anything Else You Can Do to Protect Your Dock?
After you repair or replace your dock and pilings, inspect the structure periodically for problems. Although Brazilian walnut is strong and reliable, the soil beneath the dock can become a problem if weakens or deteriorates around the pilings. Also, check the pilings for shipworms. The pests may try to infest your new pilings after you install them. If you notice shipworms on your pilings, contact a marine contractor to ensure that there's no damage.
For more information about repairing or replacing your dock and pilings, contact a marine contractor like those at Abbott's Construction Services Inc.