Inspecting Your Seawall

What many people don’t realize is the importance of inspecting a seawall. Much like your dock, a seawall faces a lot of water pressure (typically more) on a daily basis. It will incur deterioration overtime and therefore needs to be maintained in order to live its best life. Seawalls tend to age slowly – although this sounds appealing, they often show no signs of failing and will provide little to no warning before collapsing. Not inspecting your seawall regularly can result in significant damage to you, or your entire property. Read on to discover several factors to look out for in the inspection of your seawall…

GROWTH.

Rip rap poses the best example for this common issue. Blending in with its surroundings, this material does a great job at becoming one with mother nature. Although aesthetically pleasing, the plants that begin to intertwine with the rocks should be inspected regularly for weeds. Weeds tend to run deep through the rocks and can easily cause cracking amongst the wall. Speaking of mother nature, it is important to check your landscape near the seawall. If there are any tall plants, be sure to look underneath as best as you can to check for any soil erosion.

WEEP HOLES.

Weep holes are drilled into the seawall above the water line to facilitate drainage and reduce water pressure from the landward side. You will want to check these weep holes for any debris/build up. If they become clogged, they will be ineffective and will cause your seawall to crack, which in turn, will lead to crumbling, and ultimate failure (collapsing).

OVERALL STRUCTURE.

It is essential to look for any cracks/structural issues within your seawall. Check the capping – are there any cracks or portions missing? Are your slabs leaning or deteriorating? Are there any signs of rust? Are you losing soil behind the wall? These are only a few things to look out for. It is highly recommended to have a professional come out and check on your wall to ensure it is functioning as it should. Not only is this the safer route, but having a professional opinion will put your mind at ease.

With this, it is also important to keep in mind that different seawall materials will show different signs of damage/deterioration. For example, when dealing with wood, rather than checking for cracks, you will want to keep an eye out for splitting, or rotting. General shifting or movement is also something to be weary of. Carolina Dock and Marine uses engineers to properly design/construct a seawall. In using an engineer’s knowledge and capabilities, we are confident that we can build a seawall that will last.

Again, there are several factors you should look out for when inspecting your seawall. However, it is highly recommended to seek advice from a professional yearly to be safe, and have confidence in the overall structure and support of your wall. Afterall, there are numerous “unseen” signs of failure (ie: anchor rods beneath the surface) that will need to be inspected by a marine professional regardless of the situation. Give us a call today! We will schedule a time that works best for you to come out and thoroughly inspect your seawall (843) 557-1234.