We strongly suggest that you take the time to properly store your floating dock before the winter season. The worry is not the freezing water around the dock; it’s the movement of ice blocks that can cause a lot of damage to your dock. So, as a general rule, where lakes or rivers freeze, it is strongly recommended that all docks are removed and properly stored for the winter. Regardless of the dock or float model, material or composition, deciding not to remove your dock from the water during the cold months is obviously taking a risk.
Unhook the anchor chains from the dock, attach them together and connect them to a long floating rope (usually the yellow plastic ropes float sufficiently) and leave them at the bottom of the water. The rope must be long enough to be able to pick it up in the spring. To pull dock sections out of the water, use 2″ x 8″ boards, place them on the ground to create a ramp on which you will slide the docks. The layer of algae or seaweed that will have formed under the floats will help you lift them out of the water. Make sure that you take the necessary measures to ensure that the operation runs smoothly. Make sure that nothing hits or rubs against rocks or any object that could damage the floats. You may want to use a winch to make the process easier.
We do not recommend leaving your floating docks in the water during the winter as they could get damaged. But if you decide to leave them in the water, you will do so at your own risk. You will need to make sure to remove ladders and all accessories that reach below the water level, to prevent damage from ice or other objects. Detach the systems that connect the docks to the shoreline or a wall, if necessary. Remove all tension on the chains to allow movement due to water level fluctuations during the winter. Detach the dock sections from each other, connect them to the shore with ropes. Space them with bumpers (old tires will do very well but be sure to attach them properly). In this way, each section will be able to move independently and avoid damage to the structure. If you move dock sections near a shoreline to make them more secure, make sure that the floats cannot rub against the bottom or rocks.
We hope that this information will be useful to you. Have a great summer!