Damaged and missing docks will greet some cottagers
This portion of a dock got hung up near at the dam in Bracebridge. (Remy Smith)
People who live in Muskoka seasonally may be looking for their dock when they next visit.
With all the flooding being experienced older docks are prone to failure as rusted hardware allows the wood decks to float free.
One man tasked with rebuilding those docks is Randy Wicks, who owns Wicks Construction in Gravenhurst. He says anyone who still had a dock that was frozen in ice might have gotten into problems as the water rose.
“Obviously it’s not good for docks that are a few years old,” he explains. “ The fasteners start to rust. Nuts and bolts and screws and lag bolts rust out and then the top of the dock can actually float away.”
Recently he was called by a client to get some items off the floor of a boathouse as the flooding picked up pace.
“I was just in (a boathouse) the other day where I was putting things up high and dry that the owners forgot to put away,” Wicks says.
At the start of the spring thaw, the lake can fool you with the speed at which it rises.
“When lake levels were going up four or five inches a night you realize it is too late to prevent it but repairing it can be done after the fact,” he says.
He assures people who might come to check their property and see a dock submerged that it will be fine as long as it doesn’t break away.
“The dock being submerged doesn’t actually damage the dock,” he says. “It’s usually older docks that float up because of the corrosion on the fasteners under the water.”