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What is Seafoam and Can It Hurt Your Dock, Boat, or Seawall?

by Scott Myers
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Seafoam and its impact on your dock, seawall, boat, and other marine projects is not something most people think much about. What exactly is it? Are there any effects of extended exposure to your marine equipment? 

 

Related Blog: 4 Reasons Seawalls Fail and How to Prevent it

 

What is seafoam

There is no better place to go for the best explanation of sea foam but to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As explained, "saltwater contains dissolved salts, proteins, fats, dead algae, detergents, and other pollutants, and a bunch of other bits and pieces of organic and artificial matter."

 

When all this matter is churned up in the ocean, "agitated by wind and waves," sea foam forms. During storms, sea foam is pushed towards the shores by the powerful winds and waves. Popular Science has an interesting article, inclusive of pictures, that shows sea foam occurrences, from around the globe. Notice the picture showing how sea foam blanketed a Scottish town in 2012. 

 

As NOAA points out, "algal blooms are one common source of thick sea foams." We're all familiar with these blooms along our Southwest Florida coasts. It has been plaguing our shorelines since late 2017. The frothy and intriguing foam made the 10 News in late 2018, warning not to stay away from playing in it. 

 

 

Lingering Effects of Sea Foam on Marine Structures and Boats

While we know that seafoam can contain harmful, natural-occurring oceanic toxins, it can also contain other pollutants. Other than the possible toxins pushed onto the shore, the obvious is that seafoam could leave stains on marine structures and along the hulls of boats.

 

When the seafoam looks dirty, it could contain some staining matter. While it most likely isn't a deteriorating factor, it can leave unsightly staining. Unless you know all the organic and artificial matter in the sea foam that may form, it's hard to know any decaying effects on marine structures and boats.

 

Seawall Stains Could be More than Sea Foam Stains

 

One of the reasons that seawalls need routine inspection is for signs of corrosion and maintenance, and rust stains can be an indication there is a problem, but not always. We are well-staffed with field technicians to offer routine seawall inspections to help customers get the bests lifespan for their seawall investment.

 

Boat Hull Stains are a Nuisance Requiring Time and Money

 

Boats left in the water can end up requiring a lot of work that requires elbow grease. While you can get excessive barnacle and some other marine life build-up below the water line, boats can become stained from marine matter, such as seafoam.

 

Keeping a boat out of water is the best way to guard against barnacles and hull-staining elements, in and under the water. We are Southwest Florida's experts when it comes to docks and boat lifts, and we have a library of information to learn more about us, our Design Center, and the quality we build into every marine project. 

 

 

Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift, LLC: The Reputable Marine Construction Specialist

If you're in the market for waterfront construction, we are excited to show you why we are Southwest Florida's marine construction experts. No matter the job size, we are happy to deliver our expertise to all of our neighbors. Contact us today for all your marine construction needs.

 

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