If you’re a waterfront property owner in St. Pete, you probably know a dock’s foundation is important, but do you really know how important? Investing in an impressive dock is a surefire way to boost your property value, but proper dock construction takes real skill. Did you know that the most consequential aspect of your dock, by far, is its foundation pilings? The importance of a dock’s foundation pilings cannot be underestimated.
Foundation Pilings: How Will Your Dock Be Used?
In St. Pete, the load requirements for docks are similar to those of decks, but there are some differences related to the pilings and footers because docks are submerged in the water. When you’re planning your dock’s construction in St. Pete, consider whether or not you want to include any accessories, such as:
- Fish cleaning station
- Boat docking area
Any of the above will influence your choices for your dock’s foundation pilings.
Function and Importance of a Strong Foundation
A foundation is intended to provide structural support for all types of construction projects. A foundation’s function is to transfer some of the structure’s full load down into the soil and rock layers underground. Factors that affect the load-bearing capacity of a structure’s foundation include:
- Ground condition
- Characteristics of the structure
- Quality of materials used to set the foundation
- The proximity of nearby structures
- Noise level and vibration in the area
- Presence of water or other elements
- Overall construction budget
Piled foundations—also known as deep-set foundations—are made of concrete, steel, or timber formed into long columns and driven deep into the ground. A piled foundation is typically driven to a depth of three times its breadth. This type of foundation is vital for a St. Pete dock because its foundation sits in water; the surrounding soil will not be able to prevent excessive settlement without deep-set driven foundation pilings.
Create a Strong Foundation
Foundation pilings are considered one of the best engineering solutions available in St. Pete. Advantages include:
- Exceptionally strong and reliable
- The wide range of materials available allows for various specifications for structural strength
- The relative ease of installation as the soil surrounding them is displaced (unlike other driven foundations that require manual removal of the soil before installation)
To ensure you get many years of enjoyment out of your St. Pete dock, the integrity of its foundation pilings is crucial. Three critical steps will help protect your investment:
- Prevent rot: If you choose timber pilings, have them coated with wood rot prevention chemicals before installation.
- Create a water barrier: A protective barrier should be applied to your foundation pilings to prevent gradual water damage. Pile sleeves are available for this purpose.
- Protect the above-water portion of your foundation pilings: Piling caps will prevent undue exposure to inclement weather and the sun’s UV light.
St. Pete Dock Foundation Pilings Specialists