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Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind, But Not Out Of Danger — Inspecting Underwater Support Structures

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Docks, bridges, and dams are visible structures. You can obviously see if they are intact or in need of repair. Or can you? What you can see is just the part of the structure that sits above water. However, there is more than meets the eye. Beneath the water lies structural support, and that support is exposed to water-based corrosion and other issues. Understanding the importance of underwater inspections for support structures can help you avoid serious problems.

Possible Issues You Could Face

Failure to have underwater support structures inspected could lead to problems related to water seepage, collapsed bridges and decks, and potential injuries to yourself and others. If you choose not to invest in the regular inspection and maintenance of underwater support structures, you could face charges of negligence.

Negligence charges are not easy for anyone. However, it could prove damaging to your reputation. If, for instance, you own a marina that accommodates boat docking, you need to ensure the safety of the boat owners as well as the boats. For example, a boater stepping out onto one of your docks could suffer injuries should the dock collapse.

Not only would you likely face an expensive lawsuit, but word is likely to travel fast. Soon, people will hear about the accident, which can drive business away from your marina. Thankfully, a trusted marine construction company can provide you with assistance. A professional can inspect your underwater support structure and provide you with any necessary repairs or replacements as needed.

The Problem with Wood

Many docks are made of wood, so you would think that such a popular material would be able to withstand seawater exposure. Believe it or not, prolonged or intermittent exposure to seawater can damage wood. In fact, seawater can cause damage to wood known as "shredding." Shredding describes the separation of wood fibers, which can weaken underwater support structures made of wood.

Make sure you have any wooden structures checked regularly for possible signs of shredding. A professional will have to address the issue right away to avoid any serious consequences. Weakened support structures can lead to collapse. If no injuries occur as a result of a collapse, that is obviously good news.

However, it could put you out of business until the problem is resolved. Therefore, you want to get ahead of any structural support issues by hiring a team of professionals to inspect your underwater structure. Inspections can help you determine if there are any issues with the integrity of the support structures before they cause any harm to you, someone else, or your business.

Hiring a Qualified Team

When hiring a team of marine construction workers, ensure that you are hiring a qualified team. Anyone can claim they are a professional, but it is all about the ratings. For your peace of mind, do not be afraid to ask the company about their Experience Modification Rate, or EMR. Insurance companies use an EMR to determine the chances that a company will experience possible risks and injuries.

On average, industries have an EMR rating of 1.0. Keep in mind that a lower EMR means the construction company has faced very few (if any) accidents, injuries, or other issues. Therefore, you will want to work with a company that has an EMR of 1.0 or under. The goal is to ensure the safety of your water-based structures, so you need to know you can rely on the competence and integrity of the marine construction company you choose.

Contact a local marine construction company near you so you can discuss your wants and needs. A professional can answer any questions you might have and get you set up for inspection and repairs.

For more information, contact a marine construction company.