If you own a commercial property on the edge of a lake, then you may want to add a pier to the water. Patrons can reach your business by boat, and you may be able to arrange for some shipping by water if vendors are located near you. A pier or dock may be a good place to secure your own personal boat as well so you can take employees for leisure rides while the weather is nice.
If you want a pier that will last, then you will need a marine construction expert to install it for you. This expert must place the piles or posts first before the pier is secured on top. Many things will need to be considered when the work is completed, like the composition of the soil and the best method for forcing the piles in the lake bottom.
The bottom of the lake that sits on the edge of your property will likely contain a wide variety of different soil materials. These materials include sediment, muck, silt, mud, and marl. Sediment is combination of rocks and minerals that have been weathered and carried through the lake water. Sediment usually sits along the low spots of the lake.
Muck is the word used to describe the thick and slimy layer of broken down plant matter that sinks to the bottom floor of the lake. This muck may mix with mud, which is dirt and small pieces of rock material, or with marl that consists of clay and calcium materials. Silt will likely appear on the bottom of the lake too, and this material is made up of sand and clay.
Some of the soil on the lake bottom will not be ideal for the placement of pier pilings or posts. This is true of loose soils like muck and mud. Marl may be thick and heavy enough to hold the posts, and silt definitely is. However, sediment is usually too compact and immovable. This means that a marine contractor will need to investigate the soil content that sits on the bottom of your lake.
The contractor may use scuba gear to visually inspect the bottom and soil samples might be taken for evaluation. The professional may also use piling to test the strength of the soil as the wooden post is forced downward. In most cases, this method will be used to see if the pile moves too easily through the soil so the location can be discounted and another can be found.
After a good location is found with strong soil material, the marine contractor will prepare to place the posts. This can be done in two different ways. Placement with the use of a pile driver is one option. Hydraulic drivers are often used to reduce vibrations and the general disturbance of the water, marine life, and plants in the area. When this type of driver is used, the pile is pushed into the ground with the assistance of a ram and the pile is left behind as the driver and the ram are released from the water. This type of method is best if the soil across the bottom of the lake is firm but movable, like in the case when a great deal of sand is seen.
Jetting may be completed as well to secure the posts. Pile jetting involves forcing a high-pressure water jet against the lake soil where the post must be secured. The jet sits on the tip of the post and the soil is saturated with water so it becomes liquefied. The wooden beam is forced downward into the water-drenched soil and the process continues until the post is secured deep enough.
In some cases, air may be forced against the soil during the jetting process to open a channel in the soil, but this is not likely in an area like a lake that already contains a great deal of water. While jetting may be the best options for piles placed in a lake with hard clay or even sediment materials, contractors must be careful not to force too much water against the soil or this may erode the lake bottom or displace the soil.
For more insight or assistance, contact companies like Abbott's Construction Services Inc.