For homeowners on the waterfront, seawalls need to be taken care of to maintain optimum strength and stability. Rainstorms and passing boats can make the seawalls erode quicker. Seawalls are meant to be a barrier between a source of water and the property and should be kept up in order to prevent them from failing. Most seawalls are made with stone or concrete, but water-resistant wooden boards can also be used.
The upside of a wood seawall is the low initial cost of building it. Multiple lof piles are used and assembled vertically. they are then covered with wooden planks. The downside to a wood seawall is that there are height limits that could impact places of high surf. Wood seawalls can also rot unless they are treated professionally with a preventative measure. The most beneficial type of seawall depends on many different factors, and a professional can tell you if it is best to stick with your wood seawall, or if another material would be better based on your needs and the area that you live in.
Wooden sea walls can last a very long time with regular maintenance. Throughout the years, the homeowner may have to enlist someone to replace pilings or other pieces of the seawall if they begin to show signs of damage or wear. Backfill will most likely be needed to replace eroded areas. The life expectancy of the seawall ultimately depends on the type of materials used during initial construction and the quality of the contractor’s work.
What are the Drawbacks of a Wood Seawall?
Because wood seawalls are constantly being hit by water, they tend to erode quickly. Wind and rain can even cause erosion behind the wall. In warmer climates, the temperature may also play a part, as wood can become warped and fasteners can lose their grasp. Since there are constant natural forces that hinder the strength of the seawall, it is ideal to get it inspected annually. If there is any bowing or erosion issue, the professional performing the inspection will be able to give you an estimate for the repair costs.
To spot-check the wood seawall yourself, perform the following steps:
- Look for erosion behind the wood seawall.
- Ensure that there are no missing pieces of the seawall.
- Look for tilting or bowing the wood seawall.
- Inspect the wall for general wear and decay.
If you see any deficiencies in the above, it is best to contact a professional and get an inspection and repair. In some cases, the wood seawall may have to be completely replaced. Deciding to repair or replace depends on the severity of the damage, out of pocket cost, and if the homeowner is likely to sell the property in the near future.
How Do Choose an Inspector for Your Wooden Seawall?
When looking into someone to inspect and repair your seawall, research! You want to hire someone that knows what they are doing and has the availability to do it in a timely manner. You don’t want to have to repair the same thing twice! Look at the BBB, ask people you know for there experiences and who they used, look at online reviews, and even ask the contractors for their portfolios! References are also great if they have them readily available. Your repair or replacement professional should be able to guide you through the complete process and give you a step by step plan for your wood seawall. Your repairs are an investment, so it is important that they are completed properly.
If you feel that you may have an issue with your wood seawall, or if it is just time for an annual inspection, don’t delay! Call a professional today, before a small repair turns into a complete replacement!