Seawalls are critical for homes located on ocean shorelines or lakes. They help in reducing erosion, especially in the area close to shore. If you have a waterfront property, you will have to inspect your seawall for any wear and tear from time to time.
If you have those small cracks or voids within the concrete, you can always do some repairs on your one. Remember that you need to have some construction-related experience to pass this do it yourself project in fly colors.
If you are looking for some tips and tricks on your seawall repair, you have come to the right place. This guide will discuss some essential points that you will need to keep in mind to get that seawall in perfect condition.
Here are the top 5 seawall repair do it yourself tips that you can follow to keep it in shape.
Seawall Repair Do It Yourself Project
Enjoying the benefits of waterfront property for various outdoor activities often comes with a price. One of the issues you have to deal with is maintaining your seawall and keeping it in top conditions to prevent property damage.
A failing seawall that has been left unattended can cause significant damage to your property. You can always hire professional assistance for this but set your eyes on a seawall repair do it yourself project will bring more joy because you will be making an effort on your own to keep your property safe.
1. Frequently inspecting the surface of the seawall
The first thing you need to do is inspect the surface of the seawall and do it frequently. Your visual inspection needs to be thorough, and you need to check different things closely. It’s a good start to keep everything under control.
You have to check for any cracks that you will have to repair. And this is especially the case if your seawall is vinyl or concrete. You will have to check for a wooden seawall for any rotting, termite damage, or splitting. Checking it regularly will allow you to catch your minor issues before they become significant problems.
2. Keeping those weep holes unclogged
These seawalls have to go through a lot due to the stress caused by water pressure. Plus, there is pressure on one side of your seawall from the ground that is saturated and from the side that is facing the sea.
Your seawall has to weep holes in it, and they have an essential job to do. These weep holes release the pressure on your seawall. The weep holes function like pressure relief valves, and they have to be clear so that water can easily move through them daily. This will relieve the pressure that is your seawall facing every day.
There can be a lot of debris in the water, and it can take all that debris through these weep holes. They will end up getting clogged up by all the trash. Therefore, for maintaining the overall integrity of this filtration system, you need to remove the debris that has clogged the weep holes.
If you do it regularly or even daily, it will strengthen your seawall’s filtration system by maintaining a steady flow through the weep holes.
3. Getting rid of vegetation
Seaspray, summer sun, and a temperate climate can boost greenery growth during those summer months. Therefore, you will see a lot of seasonal vegetation in and on your seawall annually. Depending upon the structure of the seawall you have, there can be different kinds of plant growths that can damage your seawall’s overall structure and durability.
The root systems of different seasonal fauna can reach distant places to reach water that the plant life requires for survival. These roots have a great tendency to penetrate the seawall from within and cause deterioration.
This damage can cause your seawall to become susceptible to the water pressure it will face when holding the waves back. When you do those landscaping chores, make sure to regularly get rid of any plant growth from your seawall and the surrounding areas to prevent further damage.
4. Applying waterproof materials
Seawalls come in a variety because different materials are used to manufacture them. And these materials provide various types of barriers too. You can conveniently find wooden seawalls, steel seawalls, vinyl seawalls, concrete seawalls, and stone seawalls.
Based on what types of materials are used in constructing your seawall, you can go for a spray-on waterproofing available on the market that you can use. It will add an extra protective layer to your seawall against any erosion.
5. Seal cracks
Upon inspection of your seawall, if you have minor cracks in it, you can go for a temporary seawall repair and do it yourself project of your own. To repair those cracks in your seawall, you need to search for the correct type of product you will require here.
You can go for marine grout, liquid concrete, and concrete to use in your seawall repair do it yourself project. But before you get on with your repair work, make sure to get some assistance from a seawall construction professional to make sure that the damage isn’t worse than what it looks.
Some Additional Tips
Does it need a complete replacement?
Also, check to see whether your seawall requires a complete replacement or not. If that is the case, you will surely need professional assistance because it will get way out of your do it yourself expertise.
Fall is the best season for repairs
If you are looking to make any repairs on your own and want them to last for a long time, wait for the Fall because this is when the water level is low. It will allow you to make those repairs and fill up the cracks conveniently, even close to the surface and low across.
This is the time of the year when you will feel pretty comfortable doing repair work, and the materials that you are using for the repairs will get proper time to settle down.
The water pressure will be low, too, and new cracks won’t form right after the repairs. Lakes don’t have tides that oceans have, but water levels fluctuate in this scenario. Winter is not a good time for these repairs. Otherwise, you will need heating blankets to keep the concrete warm to cure properly.
Hence, you need to make those repairs in the late autumn season. If you still want to do your repairs in October and November, check if the temperatures are high enough during the daytime.
If you are looking to get most of your repairs and need them to be as strong as ever, go for a week in the Fall. It is the time when the temperature will be above 45F for at least a few days.
In this regard, you have to look for the historical data for weather in your area and plan accordingly. Dry days can work as well, but you will have to consider the humidity levels and precipitation in your area. And for that to have a look at the historical data of your area.
Choose right materials
You also need to keep in mind that you have to choose suitable materials for your repairs. You have to go for hydraulic cement if you are going for crack repairs.
This type of material is frequently used in swimming pools and fountains, and foundations can contact water.
This hydraulic cement is just like a mortar, and it works like glue for sealing cracks in your seawall. It starts to harden within 15 minutes, so you need to work with it fast. But it doesn’t cure within this period too. It will take a few days to harden. But make sure that you have cleaned the repair section with soap and dampen it with water.
Soil can also wash away from the back of the sidewall. And you will have to replace it so the wall can stay upright. You can always go for clean fill dirt or even inject resin material with professional help.
How can I reinforce my seawall?
For reinforcing your seawall, you might need boardwalks, steel sheet piles, bulkheads, and boat docks. You can also use helical marine anchors. They are used while constructing seawalls
How can I repair a crack on my seawall?
Any crack repairs need to be performed with hydraulic cement. Because this material is frequently used in repair fountains, swimming pools, and foundations. It’s just like mortar but works like glue and seals the cracks in your seawall quite well.
How much a seawall repair costs?
A residential seawall or bulkhead for saltwater can cost $400 to $1000 per linear foot.
How long does a seawall last?
A seawall can last 40 to 50 years on average, depending on location and build quality.
Your seawall repair do it yourself projects will be successful if you use suitable materials for repairs based on the construction materials.
But you won’t have to go for repairing any cracks in your seawall if you keep a regular check on it and do some maintenance work frequently. Just make sure to pick the Fall months for any repairs. This is the time when your repairs will show the best results.