Skip to Main Content

How can I prevent ice damage to docks in winter?
Ask Our Pond Experts
Ask Our Pond Experts

How can I prevent ice damage to docks in winter?

Asked By: Rick of Merriam, IN

A: Ice can certainly do some damage to a dock. Water expands and contracts as it freezes and melts, respectively. This shifting can wreak havoc on the wood and materials keeping your dock together.

So, what can you do to protect your investment? If you have a removable floating dock, winter ice is no big deal. Simply remove it from your pond and store it until spring. If you have a permanent dock that stays in the ice, you have two options: a circulator or a bubbler. Here's what you need to know about each.

Water Circulator

Water circulators, also known as dock ice eaters, use motors and propellers to push water under the dock and up toward the surface. These devices can be suspended from horizontal floats to create elongated patterns of water movement that discourage ice formation. Circulators can also be secured directly to your dock using optional mounts and stands.

Bubbler System

A dock ice bubbler, like the  Shallow Water Series Aeration System, uses a diffuser to create water movement under the dock to prevent ice formation. Diffuser plates connect to an air compressor and pump air below the surface to agitate the water. Multiple diffusers can create large areas of open water when placed evenly across the shallow part of the pond. As an added benefit, they cost less to operate than an ice eater motor and prop.

Watch the Weather

Whether you use a circulator or a bubbler, remember that the weather will be the most influential factor in protecting your dock from ice damage. It is easier to keep the ice melted on warm and sunny days than on frigid, snowy days. Venture out to your pond to check on your dock after snowstorms and cold snaps to ensure your protective system is operational and keeping ice at bay.

More Winter Pond Care & Maintenance Tips

Dock damage from ice is one of the many ways frozen water can be a pond nuisance. Protecting all your pond equipment in winter is a good idea if you want to avoid costly repairs and replacements. Contact us online or by phone at 866-766-3435 before the first big freeze to get tips and advice for winter pond care.

Read more about maintaining your pond or lake during winter:

Do I need to aerate my pond in the winter?
De-Icer Alternatives
Removing Your Fountain for Storage
Warm Winter Days
Aeration Benefits in Frozen Ponds

Last Updated: June 12, 2024