Congratulations, you finally purchased your dream home on a beautiful waterfront property, and now have your personal slice of paradise. That is until your seawall fails and now your actual home is sustaining damage while you are waiting on a seawall builder to charge you for a very expensive new seawall.
Unfortunately, the above scenario occurs every year whenever mother nature’s powerful hurricanes, tropical storms, tsunamis, and routine heavy rains and flooding occur.
The single most important thing a waterfront property owner can do is to get your seawall or bulkhead checked out before problems arise. Think of it this way: your body needs a check-up every now and then, and so does your seawall. Or to use another analogy, failure to have your car serviced on a regular basis can lead to more expensive complications in the long term. Likewise, neglecting to have your seawall checked on and maintained can lead to premature structural failure. If you own a waterfront property with an older seawall, have it assessed immediately to ensure the seawall has not become destabilized. Specifically, you’ll want to have it checked for structural damage, proper dewatering mechanisms, and functioning deadman anchor systems.
If you are having a new seawall installed, be sure to verify the quality of the concrete, steel, vinyl, wood, or composite materials. Verify the quality of the anchor system being installed. Check on the soil erosion control material being utilized (i.e., filter fabric and/or membrane). Pictured in this article is a newly constructed seawall on Lake Erie in New York. This seawall is less than 2 years old and already has major destabilization and concrete damage due to poor soil control and the development of voids on the landward side of the overall structure.
Seawall Repair Network’s Nationwide member contractors are prepared to assist you with all of these critical considerations.