Learning how to fix a slippery boat dock isn’t a difficult project. A slippery wood boat dock is a dangerous place, but it can be made safe and friendly to even bare feet by cleaning and applying Soft Tread non skid coating.

Most boat docks are made of 1” or 2” thick pressure treated lumber. Most pressure treated lumber is dense and when the dock is new and wet, it gets very slippery. Older pressure treated lumber can be porous and prone to the buildup of mold and mildew. When older docks get wet they can be very slippery too.  A slippery boat dock is a dangerous boat dock!

This project is also a good chance to inspect your dock and replace any rotten deck boards or stringers, or to replace or add any cleats. Once any repairs are complete, you’re ready to start the coating process.

The first step in making your slippery boat dock safe is to get it spotlessly clean. A pressure washer is the best means of doing this as it doesn’t require any detergent, chemicals or bleach to do a good job. Use the largest possible pressure washer you can get as the little ones may not do the job and will take a long time to get even mediocre results. The object of pressure washing is not just to make the surface clean, it’s to remove ALL dead wood fiber and rough up the surface to insure the best adhesion possible. Take your time to really blow all the crud out of the wood and remove all the loose wood fiber. If it looks a little shaggy when you’re done… perfect!

Once the dock is clean, it needs to dry out well. Pressure treated lumber tends to hold a lot of water so several days in the sun is needed to dry the wood completely. While the wood is drying out, you can check all the fasteners and secure the dock boards if they need another nail or screw to make them hold fast to the underlying structure.

When the dock is dry, apply a coat of Soft Tread Wood & Concrete Primer using a fluffy nap paint roller. The object is to thoroughly saturate the dock boards without leaving any puddles on the surface of the boards. If the dock boards are widely spaced rather than snug to each other, you may want to put some plastic sheeting under the dock to catch any spills to keep from contaminating the water.  A piece of plastic sheet about 6’ wide and 10’ long is perfect as long as you tie a piece of rope to each corner. Then you can move the plastic along with you as you work from the end of the dock toward shore.

When the Primer is dry, the Soft Tread can be applied using either the 9” Texture roller or the 4” Roller. Be sure to use the Texture Roller as a typical paint roller will not give the right type of texture to the finished job. Mask off around any cleats or pilings. Apply the Soft Tread in two moderate coats to achieve a spread rate of about 50 to 60 square feet per gallon for the total of both coats.

Allow at least 12 hours dry time before light foot traffic and 48 hours before heavy traffic for best results. (Dry times are extended due to the fact that your dock is in a high humidity area and will cure a little slower than in a very dry environment.)

Now you’ve changed a slippery boat dock into a safe boat dock for your friends and guests.

If you have any questions about Anti-Slip Coatings, please contact us at 954-565-6001 during business hours Monday – Thursday.