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Banner - Why Holes Are Appearing in the Soil Behind Your Seawall

Why Holes Are Appearing in the Soil Behind Your Seawall

Body - Why Holes Are Appearing in the Soil Behind Your SeawallThe Cause of Soil Holes Behind a Seawall

As seawalls age, soil often migrates through the vertical panel joints and weep holes. During construction, a geotextile filter fabric is usually installed on the landward side along the vertical panel joints and weep holes to prevent the migration mentioned above. Over time, however, filter fabric begins to deteriorate and becomes ineffective. Soil migration then occurs during every water event (rain, irrigation, daily tide activity, storm surge, etc.).

Holes Behind a Seawall Indicate Structural Stability Issues

Holes forming behind your seawall are a very big deal and should be considered a red flag that cannot be ignored. A slow process initially, soil migration eventually leads to void formations on the landward side of the seawall. Void formations jeopardize the overall stability of the seawall structure. The loss of structural stability can lead to movement of the wall itself. As the structure slips and moves, damage to seawall caps and panels occur. In addition, resulting stress on the supporting seawall tie-rods and deadman anchors can lead to complete failure of the entire seawall.

If you see holes behind your seawall, you should contact a qualified seawall repair contractor as soon as possible.

Banner - Why Rust Stains Appear on Concrete Seawalls

Why Rust Stains Appear on Concrete Seawalls

Body - Why Rust Stains Appear on Concrete SeawallsRust on Concrete Seawalls & Bulkheads is a Sign of Decay

Once the steel reinforcement inside of a seawall begins to rust, it expands inside of the concrete and results in spalling (aka cracking). Horizontal cracks (span-running) will then occur as the steel reinforcement of the seawall cap begins to rust and expand inside of the seawall cap. Spalling causes the seawall cap to expand from within itself, which in turn causes the concrete to further break and come apart. Spalling by itself (if allowed to progress) will destroy a seawall by displacing the wall panels. The overall seawall structure relies on the seawall cap to hold everything together.

Repairing the Damage Caused by Rust on Seawalls & Bulkheads

Traditionally, contractors and handymen who perform concrete repair work on seawall caps simply cut through and remove the entire section of seawall cap in need of repair. They then pour new concrete in that section of removed concrete. This form of remediation compromises the integrity of the steel reinforcement of the entire seawall cap.

In order to maintain as much of the original seawall structural integrity as possible, the Seawall Repair Network has created a surgical concrete repair process:

  • We identify the extent of the spalling by cutting away the damaged concrete.
  • We avoid cutting through any of the original steel reinforcement.
  • We continue cutting and grinding the concrete until the extent of the spalling is fully exposed.
  • We remove as much rust as possible.
  • We add steel rebar as needed to replace severely damaged rebar.
  • We install zinc anodes to both ends of the steel being repaired. Zinc anodes are designed to protect buried or submerged metal structural components by sacrificing themselves to prevent the steel reinforcement from rusting. In other words, the zinc anodes corrode instead of the steel rebar. This process is called cathodic protection.
  • We then coat the entire service area with a balanced formula of phosphoric acid, dichromates, wetting agents, and extenders. This product is environmentally safe and non-flammable. It seals out moisture and prevents future rust from forming.
  • We then install stainless steel screws into the service area to act as structural reinforcements.
  • We then utilize forming boards to form and prepare the pouring of the concrete repair material.
  • We then pour and form a high-strength concrete repair material to reconstruct the parts of the wall that were damaged by spalling.

End Result: The Best Seawall Cap Repair in the Industry

Banner - Why You Should be Concerned When Cracks Appear in Your Seawall Caps

Why You Should be Concerned When Cracks Appear in Your Seawall Caps

Body - Why You Should be Concerned When Cracks Appear in Your Seawall CapsWhat Causes Cracks in Seawall Caps?

The seawall cap serves the function of tying and securing all the panels into their installed positions. In other words, the seawall cap holds everything together. Most seawall caps are made from poured concrete reinforced with steel. The great thing about concrete is that it never lies. Concrete always displays a stress reaction to unstable soil.

Once a seawall begins to experience movement related to soil instability caused by soil migration and void formation, the seawall cap experiences tremendous lateral stress. This stress is caused by the build-up of hydrostatic pressure and water-saturated soil (typical soil grade mass) on the landward side of the seawall. Also, the seawall berm (the soil mass surrounding the bottom of the seawall) has typically been compromised at this point and has become unstable as well.

How Do You Repair Cracks in Seawall Caps?

Seawall Repair Network contractors employ high-strength epoxy and concrete repair materials to repair cracks in seawall caps. This process restores strength and integrity to the structure. The Seawall Repair Network’s proprietary materials, equipment, and repair processes remedy this kind of damage and other seawall issues.