What is a Dock Inspection?
When completed by home inspectors, a dock inspection is a limited, non-invasive inspection of the components of the dock.
In most cases, inspectors do not examine docks from inside the water. Inspectors generally view the dock conditions from the ground.
It can be very similar to the process and reporting style of a regular home inspection. A home inspector will notate damage, defects, recommendations, and other items. Furthermore, home inspectors generally take pictures and include it all in a report.
What is Included/Inspected?
Generally, an inspection company will inspect and report on the following:
- Piling Caps – These protect pilings from water damage.
- Safety Hazards
- Boat Lifts – Boat lifts are generally not operated if a boat is on the lift
- Electric – Including water protection coverings and GFCI protection
- Motors & Cables/Assembling of the Boat Lift
- Boat Lift Housings/Roof (if applicable)
- Piling Wraps
- Hardware Condition
- General Structure & Condition
- Other Hazards & Recommendations
When Should You Get a Dock Inspection?
A dock inspection should always be completed during a real estate transaction. This is so you understand the condition of the dock before purchasing. Typically, home inspectors charge less fees for the dock inspection when coupled with a general home inspection. This is so you purchase the home/dock for a fair price.
However, general dock inspections once owned, should be inspected yearly for damage. Especially with Florida hurricanes, docks should be properly maintained to protect from further damage during heavy rain/winds/waves. A damaged dock can possibly damage seawalls and your home’s structure.
How Much Do Dock Inspections Cost?
Prices for a dock inspection can vary widely depending on the company and circumstances.
An inspection ordered with a home inspection for a real estate transaction can be significantly cheaper than purchasing a standalone dock inspection. For reference, a home inspection company may charge $50-$100 for a dock inspection with a home inspection. Comparatively, a dock inspection standalone can be a few hundred dollars.
Moreover, some dock contractors or marine contractors may offer free dock inspections given they will want to repair/replace your current dock/seawall.
Summing It Up
Dock inspections are critical for understanding the condition of your dock before use and purchase. In Florida, docks should be inspected frequently to protect it from hurricane damage.
If you have further questions on dock inspections, be sure to comment below!