How to Keep Your Waterfront in Top Shape All Year

Posted by Hunter Croan on Monday, December 18th, 2023 at 6:42am.

If you own a Texas waterfront property or are looking to make a purchase, you'll need to make sure you know how to protect your waterfront. While it's often overlooked, waterfront maintenance is essential to home ownership - at least if you want your property to look its best.

However, different waterfront improvements call for different levels of maintenance. We're here to give you a comprehensive rundown of what you need to know to stay ahead of the game.

What is a Waterfront?

A waterfront is a strip of land that borders a body of water. In this case, a waterfront is the portion of your property that touches the lake or river water that surrounds your home. It can include the land itself but also any structures - such as docks, boat houses, retaining walls, and more. Keeping yours in good shape is a key part of property maintenance, especially if you're looking to sell your home.

Waterfront Property Maintenance Tips for Texas Lake Houses

Whether you already live on one of the many Texas lakes in the area or are looking to invest in waterfront property, make sure you protect your investment with these maintenance tips.

1. Pay Attention to Retaining Walls

Retaining walls is important to maintain since if they fail you could lose property that you could not be allowed to reclaim. There are three main types of retaining walls, and maintenance of them varies slightly.

  1. Cement retaining walls. These walls look great however with boat traffic and river flow, they can get undermined and potentially fall/fail. At least once a year it is recommended that you check for voids under the wall and have them properly filled to prevent them from sinking or potentially falling. When these walls fail they are very expensive to remove.
  2. Wood post retaining wall. These walls are driven down into the ground so rarely are undermined however the gaps between the boards will grow over time which washes out the soil behind the wall. These wash out spots will need to be properly backfilled with rock then soil. As these wash outs become more often, it might be time to consider replacing the wall.
  3. Vinyl Sheet Pile (as shown in the picture above). These are the most popular, longest lasting, and least maintenance retaining wall you will find. These are interconnected sheets that are driven down typically 5-6 feet below the waterline. This makes them much less likely to be undermined and less susceptible to being washed out. Occasionally you will have a panel that was damage under the waterline during install that will create a washout. In this case, you can have your contractor patch the washout section before backfilling.

2. Maintain Your Dock

Dock maintenance is an essential but often overlooked part of keeping your waterfront looking its best.

It's your job as a homeowner to maintain your deck boards and keep them safe from water damage. Wood rot on docks is something our agents see regularly - it's also one of the first things we recommend homeowners address when selling their homes.

It's usually easier to maintain or refresh your dock than it is to install a new one. On top of paying close attention to your dock over time, it's a good idea to invest in something like DeckOver. This product helps fill voids and cracks and gives results that look like composite material, allowing it to blend seamlessly when you only decide to replace a few wood rot boards.

Sometimes, though, some TLC isn't quite enough to save a heavily rotted or damaged wooden dock. That's why we recommend adding a concrete dock to your home.

If you think long term, concrete docks are the way to go. They are more expensive than wood but typically less expensive than composite decking. Concrete is also easier to maintain. Pressure wash it once a year to keep it in great shape.

3. Invest in Paint That Lasts

When it's time to paint your boat or lake house, you'll want to take the time to prepare well. You could, of course, choose to paint over worn spots every year or so, but this can prove to be tedious - not to mention costly.

The truth is that exposure to the elements and plenty of water means that many traditional paints just won't hold up. We know the last thing you want is chips or large chunks of missing paint on your waterfront property!

We recommend you prepare any paintable surface with plenty of sanding followed by a high-quality primer. Choose a paint designed for outdoor use that's durable enough to stand up to waterfront conditions.

4. Plan to Accommodate Waterfront Visitors

Don't leave your visitors hanging when it comes to safely docking their boat at your waterfront property. Installing vertical posts is a simple fix that helps keep you and your visitor's property safe. These give your visitors a safe area to leave their boats without causing harm.

Discover More Insight and Texas Waterfront Homes for Sale

You can always count on The Lakefront Group for the expertise you need to find the best Texas waterfront properties for sale and maintain your Texas lake home. We'd love to hear from you whether you have questions about keeping your property looking its best or are ready to find your dream home. Contact us today to get started!

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