Banner - Bulkhead Seawall Repair in Buffalo, New York

Bulkhead / Seawall Repair in Buffalo, New York

Body - Bulkhead Seawall Repair Buffalo, New YorkWaterfront property owners in Buffalo, New York face yearly challenges due to the sometimes turbulent nature of Lake Erie. This immense body of water is capable of producing wave activity similar to hurricane conditions.

One of the great challenges associated with Lake Erie is the build-up of hydrostatic pressure on the landward side of the seawall.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, What Hydro-Static Pressure Is and Why Seawall Owners Should Be Concerned

Hydrostatic Pressure is most commonly defined as the pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth measured from the surface because of the increasing weight of fluid exerting downward force from above.

Hydrostatic pressure builds exponentially when groundwater “stacks up” behind a seawall. Water (and all liquids in general) gravitates to level with the existing water table. Water will always follow the path of least resistance. This force causes movement within unstable soil.

The great news for waterfront property owners (who rely on their seawalls, bulkheads, and revetments to protect their property from nature’s forces of devastation) is that the Seawall Repair Network’s proprietary repair process protects these same structures from failure.

In the picture included with this article, the seawall on the left side has been protected with the Seawall Repair Network materials, equipment, and installation procedures. Unfortunately, the seawall in the background on the right side has not, and the structure is now destabilized and moving forward. If left unprotected, the seawall on the right side will fail.

Seawall Repair Network Member Mike Garnett of Garnett Seawall Solutions utilized the proprietary repair process to ensure that hydrostatic pressure would not cause the above seawall to move and fail.

The customer was highly satisfied with the work accomplished by Garnett Seawall Solutions and referred them to many other neighbors in the area.

Banner - Seawall Repair Network's Patent-Pending Process

Seawall Repair Network’s Patent-Pending Process

Body - Seawall Repair Process Seawall Stabilization What Causes Seawall Failure

Mother Nature’s oceans, lakes, and rivers can be so beautiful and calm. But over time, her natural forces will cause damage and eventual failure of your seawall. Seawalls are complicated structures made up of a variety of essential components. If one component fails, the entire seawall is at risk. In traditionally constructed seawalls, weep holes with a geotextile fabric filter allow water to flow from the landward side back into the ocean to prevent pressure build-up.

What Causes Seawall Failure?

What causes your seawall to fail? Over time, as the filter fabric fails, soil migration creates voids behind the wall, which causes structural instability. As the voids behind the wall fill up with water, hydrostatic pressure behind the seawall causes the wall panels to shift over time. The shifting panels damage the seawall cap, which holds the entire structure together. When this happens, failure of the seawall is imminent. If ignored, these problems only get worse.

Seawall Stabilization Repair Process

Water is RELENTLESS. But YOU can be too! Professionally trained contractors, armed with Seawall Repair Network’s patent-pending repair process, are ready to guide you to victory in this battle!

Watch the video below for a complete explanation of Seawall Repair Networks seawall stabilization process.

Banner - How-Soil-Instability-Causes-Seawall-Damage

How Soil Instability Causes Seawall Damage

Body - How-Soil-Instability-Causes-Seawall-Damage Soil Loss Behind Seawalls Erosion Behind Seawalls

Erosion and Soil Loss (Void Formation – Landward Side)

Causation: As seawalls age, soil eventually starts to migrate through the vertical seawall panel joints and weep holes. At the time of original seawall construction, a geotextile filter fabric is installed on the landward side along the panel vertical joints and weep holes. Filter fabric serves the critical function of preventing soil loss into the waterway from the landward side.

An essential point to remember is that seawalls are designed to keep the land in more than to keep the water out. Seawall structures are engineered to allow water to pass through seawall vertical panel joints and weep holes. The engineering concept Equilibrium of Hydrostatic Pressure refers to neutralizing opposing forces caused by water pressure on both the landward side and the opposing waterward side of the seawall structure.

Over time, all filter fabric begins to deteriorate and become ineffective. Once this occurs, soil migration begins to occur during every water event (rain, irrigation, daily tide activity, storm surge, etc.). A slow process initially, soil migration leads to void formations on the landward side of the seawall. Void formations immediately begin to jeopardize the overall stability of the seawall structure. The loss of structural stability leads to unwanted movement of the structure. As the movement of the structure occurs, damage to the seawall cap and panels also occurs, and stress on the seawall tie-rods and deadman anchors will lead to damage or sometimes complete failure of the overall seawall structure.

The Domino Effect (How Soil Instability Causes Seawall Damage)

When considering the relationship between the various causes of seawall damage, simply think of the domino effect in order to clarify the complexities associated with seawall engineering:

Natural forces create a domino effect which causes seawall damage and eventually seawall failure if not mitigated and remedied in time:

  1. Erosion due to filter fabric deterioration leads to…
  2. Void formations behind the seawall, which lead to…
  3. Deterioration of the seawall berm (or supporting soil) leads to…
  4. A build-up of hydrostatic pressure behind the seawall, which leads to…
  5. Damage to seawall the cap, seawall panels, and anchor system, which leads to…
  6. De-stabilization of the entire seawall structure, which leads to…
  7. Seawall failure, which leads to…
  8. Financial loss, wasted time, destruction of property, and STRESS.

Has your seawall been damaged by natural forces? Click the button below to download an info-packed guide to permanent and lasting repair.