Owning a waterfront property with access to waterways is the ultimate in Florida living. However, one of the most important things to consider when purchasing that home on the water is the Dock or Seawall.
These structures are designed to withstand heavy loads and pressure. They have to provide for subsurface drainage as well as withstand extreme weather and corrosive saltwater in some cases. If these structures are not properly constructed or if a defect is present that is not detectable by the layman they can be astronomical in cost to repair.
Do not buy a waterfront property without first having a home inspection performed that includes the dock or seawall. The inspection of the Dock and/or Seawall includes an evaluation of the seawall cap, bulkhead, piles, panels, hardware (cleats etc.), decking and framing structure, water/electric service, drainage and if agreed upon the boat lift and any other component which are visible.
(This is an inspection of the visible components only). The condition of the dock or the soil behind the seawall, footings, underground drainage systems, filter/cloth, tiebacks and portions of the structure(s) that are underneath the surface of the water are not within the scope of the inspection.