There are many people that want nothing more than to own a home that has waterfront property. To make it easier to access the water, it is not uncommon for these homes to have docks. However, it can be difficult to exit the water through the dock when you are swimming if there is not a ladder present. For those that are needing to install a dock ladder, it is important to decide whether you want to install a permanent or retractable dock ladder.
If you are anticipating regularly using a boat with your dock, you may not want to have a permanent ladder in place, because it can make docking your boat difficult. These ladders can be retracted manually, or you can install an automatic system to lift the ladder from the water.
For those that opt for an automatic lift system, you will need to have the system serviced at least once a year to prevent mechanical problems from developing. During these service visits, the mechanical parts will be lubricated, the motor inspected for wear and any damaged pieces replaced. This type of service visit may seem somewhat unnecessary, but skipping these service visits can drastically shorten the lifespan of your ladder.
When homeowners will not be needing to regularly dock a boat, it may make more sense to install a permanent ladder. These ladders have the advantage of requiring much less maintenance than retractable ladders, but you should never make the mistake of assuming they are maintenance free.
These ladders are more prone to developing algae growths. These growths can make the ladder extremely slippery, which can make accidental injury more likely. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can follow to remove these growths from the ladder. Using a wire brush, you should vigorously scrub the ladder until the algae has been removed.
Also, these ladders are more likely to develop rust or rot. If you notice rust, the ladder will need to be removed, and it will be necessary to sand the rust off before applying a new coating of sealant to it. In instances of rot, the damaged portion of the ladder will have to be replaced, and a new layer of finishing will be to be applied to the entire ladder to help prevent further rot from developing.
Choosing the right ladder for your boat dock does not have to be an overwhelming or complicated choice. By understanding the different benefits afforded by permanent and retractable ladders, you will be in a better position to choose the right type of ladder for your dock.