Seawalls are one of the best ways to protect residential properties from the Mississippi shoreline. They’re designed to be stable and protect homes against wave action and coastal erosion. However, seawalls have an average lifespan of 30-50 years, and it’s possible for them to need repairs in between this time.
Let’s explore the top five reasons why seawalls sometimes fail and the importance of residential seawall repair.
1. Waterline Failure
Waterline failure is typically caused by uneven pressure, aged concrete and corroded reinforcing rods. This can cause the panels or slabs to crack over time, eventually breaking them along the waterline.
To repair major issues, you’ll need to contact a seawall repair company to replace the panels, tie-back rods and cap. Small cracks may only need a quick repair to prevent progression.
2. Seawall Cap Failure
Exposure to the outdoor elements can corrode the steel used to reinforce the concrete seawall cap. When this happens, cracks form and the steel continues to expand, causing more corrosion. Eventually, pieces of the seawall cap can break off.
For this repair, your seawall repair company will replace the failing seawall cap, and potentially the panels as well. A good company will also check the condition of your tiebacks and replace them, if necessary.
3. Lack of Maintenance
Seawalls require maintenance and upkeep to ensure that any small problems don’t become big, expensive problems. Unfortunately, not everyone is good about checking their seawall. This means that they might miss small problems and end up with corrosion and decomposition that compromises the integrity of the seawall.
Bottom line: Make sure that you’re checking your seawall from time to time, and that you schedule an evaluation if you notice any cracks or corrosion.
4. Change in Water Depth
The water flowing along your seawall can be affected by many things, such as canal dredging, waterway lock systems, strong tides or currents and heavy rains. While a little bit of change is normal, significant changes over time can cause seawall failure. Falling water levels can cause imbalanced pressure, while rising water levels can exert pressure outwards.
Pay attention to the water level along your seawall. Note any big changes that can cause your seawall to fail. While you can’t control the weather, you can keep an eye out for cracks, corrosion and degradation.
5. Toe and Berm Failure
If there’s not enough berm/penetration at the bottom of the panels, the panels can tilt, crack, rotate or fracture. If this happens, it causes the cap to open a gap between the seawall and dock. Generally, a lack of berm is caused by rocky soil conditions, canal dredging, wave action and fast water currents.
Severe damage requires you to replace the panels. With light damage, you might be able to add more rock to alleviate the bottom of the seawall.
Schedule Residential Seawall Repair
When it comes to seawall repair, leave this to the experts! Foremost Foundations and Construction will evaluate the condition of your seawall and determine the best repairs based on the damage and your budget. We have many solutions to protect your property and increase your home value. Contact our team of seawall repair experts today!