Posted on Category:Dock Building & Repair

Installing Piling Wrap: Shielding Your Dock Against Marine Borers

If you’re building a dock or already have one it is crucial that your pilings are protected from marine borers. Whether you have treated wood or the more expensive tropical greenheart pilings they need to be protected with caps and either wraps or sleeves.

Wraps are predesigned for the top two to eight feet of a wood piling and sized so that the opposite edges overlap by several inches. Nails are then installed every 2” along the material seams.

Our piling wrap protects your dock foundation from marine borer attack and deterioration. These mollusks enter wood and eat away at the core, weakening the pile and eventually leading to its collapse.

Marine borer activity is typically detected by visual inspection and core sampling by professional divers and engineers. The damage is then classified as light, moderate, heavy or severe. Severe activity indicates structural timber is likely breakable with hand tools and may cause a sudden failure of the dock structure.

The invention provides a plastic sheet of substantial durability and fluid impermeability that can be wrapped around a wood piling in close conformance with its exterior surface. The wrap preferably overlaps the opposite edges and is fixed to piling by mounting hardware extending through the overlapping sections.

Marine-grade corrosion resistant screws are inserted into the screw holes on each end of the overlapped section to bite and hold in piling. Nails are also installed every 2 inches along the material seams.

The inventive piling wrap system is used to encapsulate the bases of poles and pilings that are in or will be placed into marine locations, including saltwater and freshwater marine, lake, river or marsh environments. It also extends their useful life by reducing the leaching of preservative coatings from the wood to soil and marine organisms.

In this first alternate embodiment the resulting seal layer edge is covered with a strip 56 of conformation or gasket layer material of closed cell foam (preferable in marine and wet conditions) on the order of 6” wide that overlaps the seal layer and a compression shell layer is installed over both. Lag bolts and washers 54 are affixed to the compression shell.

When wrapping pilings, it is preferred to wrap them from the top down to about 6-18” below the mud line. When wrapping existing pilings, the sea or lake bed is excavated to expose them and several feet of the base of each piling can then be wrapped.

Pilings and docks are exposed to a marine environment, and the foundations of these structures can be destroyed by marine borers and organisms. Replacing the pilings is expensive and not always possible. A simple solution is available that significantly extends the life of wood dock pilings.

The pile wrap, a flexible plastic sheet, has the ability to protect and create a barrier-interface between the pilings and their environment. The wrap is installed by installing stainless steel 1-1/4 inch ring shank nails every two inches along the seam of the piling wrap.

The wrap, when affixed properly with nails, can prevent oxygenated water and organisms from attacking pilings from the sides. The wrap can also be used to fortify and strengthen existing damaged, deteriorated or rotted dock pilings. This method can also extend the effective life of these damaged pilings without the use of harmful chemicals such as creosote. Piling wraps can be installed on new construction docks, or added to any existing structure that has been damaged by a marine borer infestation.

The black vinyl sheeting that our professional technicians install around dock pilings is not only effective in preserving the wood but adds an attractive aesthetic element to your pier or dock. Our piling wrap is made from a strong and durable material that is resistant to water and UV rays, making it an environmentally sound investment for your marine structure.

Piling wraps act as a physical barrier between Gulf Coast Boring Worms and your dock’s wood pilings, significantly lessening the risk of infestation and structural failure. Regular inspections can also identify any worm activity or damage, helping you to address the issue quickly and effectively.

St.Petersburg Piling wraps can also be infused with anti-fouling or marine borer deterrent chemicals to further discourage these wood-eating creatures from burrowing into your dock’s pilings. Additionally, the wraps are easy to clean and maintain by simply washing them down with mild soap and water. This is an ideal way to keep your pilings safe and looking great all year round!