Why does the top of piling rot and not the bottom?

Because wood needs oxygen to decay. Wood that is immersed in water (especially cold water) will last longer than wood that is exposed to air and water. The average is 15-20 years for any wood from the waterline up, and 40-50 years for wood beneath the water’s surface.

Should I paint or stain my dock?

This question is debated by everyone in the industry. Whichever method you choose, the important thing to remember is that upkeep is vital. Cracking paint and stain can actually trap more water, which will rapidly increase the decaying process.

Northeast Dock and Barge does not recommend painting, as we believe that your time on the Lake could be better spent swimming, fishing or enjoying an ice-cold drink in the sun.

What is pressure treatment?

Pressure treatment is a process that forces chemical preservatives into the wood. Wood is placed inside a closed cylinder where vacuum and pressure are applied to force the preservatives into the wood. These preservatives help protect the wood from attack by termites, other insects, and fungal decay.

What metals and protective coatings does the Pressure Treated Wood Industry recommend for use with newer copper-based products?

Hot-dip galvanized or stainless steel fasteners, anchors and hardware are recommended by the Pressure Treated Wood Industry for use with treated wood. This has been the position of this industry for years, and their position has not changed with the transition to the alternative copper-based products. In the past, this industry did not address the required levels of galvanizing; however, most of those in the industry now provide information regarding the minimum level of galvanizing that should be used.

How do we drive piles?

Northeast Dock and Barge uses a vibratory compactor for pile driving. This type of driving takes less time than an impact hammer. In addition, and of great importance, it has less of an effect on the environment than an impact hammer. Installation of pile using an impact hammer (i.e., pile driving) can generate intense underwater sound pressure waves that can injure or kill fish.

Measures to minimize potential impacts:

Based on observations of pile driving, the following measures may be effective in reducing potential impacts to NOAA trust resources either by decreasing the level of underwater sound or decreasing the number of fish exposed to the sound:

  • Use of fewer piles, or smaller piles, or a different type of pile, with hollow steel piles appearing to create the most impact at a given size
  • Driving piles when species of concern are absent
  • Use of a vibratory hammer rather than an impact hammer

Due to the water depth, can I build my dock longer?

In order for this type of request to be approved, you must prove you “need” a longer dock by documenting water depth. This is accomplished by measuring the water depth until you reach 3 feet of water based on full lake level. Using this benchmark, you can extend your dock out 20 feet on inland water bodies in NH.

Northeast Dock and Barge Inc
P. O. Box 113
Wolfeboro, NH 03894

1 (855) NEDOCKS

Main Office
17 Bay Street
Wolfeboro, NH 03894
(603) 515-9032


Ask a Wetland Scientist

Send any questions that you would like answered to ask@nedockandbarge.com

We will go through your questions and either answer them directly or on the website as a blog post.