Seawalls, Breakwalls and Bulkheads provide essential protection from erosion of surrounding land and shorelines. They also provide invaluable protection for the marinas, harbors, and coastal homes that are in these locations from the water and its movement. When problems develop with these barriers it can create symptoms that are easy to recognize and should be addressed immediately to avoid serious damage and costly repairs or replacements.
Worried that you might have some signs of trouble? Here are some examples of symptoms of damage needing to be repaired:
If your seawalls are leaning it means the ground underneath the seawall has moved causing pockets of loose soil and voids, it’s a good indication that the foundation of the walls have been compromised and in need of immediate repair.
If you are seeing little pockets of sunken earth appearing seemingly out of nowhere or even sinkholes near your seawall, water is permeating the seawall in some manner causing this soil erosion and it will continue to erode the land until it is repaired.
Adjacent walkways, sidewalks, and other concrete slabs are settled and are cracking
Are you seeing cracks or uneven sidewalks, walkways or concrete slabs near your seawall? This is yet another indicator that water is bypassing the seawall and causing soil erosion. The soil erodes from underneath the concrete slabs creating voids and pockets of loose soil that can no longer support the slabs causing the sloping and cracking.
Cracks or pieces broken off the Seawall Caps
The top of the seawall is called a Seawall Cap, it holds all the panels of the seawall together in their original installed positions. When you start seeing cracks or broken pieces in the seawall cap, it is a definite sign the seawall is compromised and needs immediate attention.
Losing soil behind the wall
The land meeting the seawall should be even and flush with the wall. Seeing a change in the level of the land or a dropped slope leading up to the seawall is soil erosion. Water is permeating the seawall and eroding the land behind it.
Extensive water exposure to slabs causes them to deteriorate naturally over time. If you are seeing slabs near and around your seawall deteriorating, it means they are being exposed to a lot of water. This is an indicator that the seawall needs to be inspected for possible damage.
If you find you have one or more of these symptoms, you are not limited to the old ways of fixing it. Polyurethane Foam is a progressive and proven way of repairing your seawall that has many advantages including being environmentally friendly and fast!
Besides being environmentally safe, polyurethane foam is light! A single pound of foam equals up to 64 lbs. of concrete with high structural integrity and it only takes minutes to cure! That means little to no heavy equipment on already compromised land, unlike concrete which needs a lot of heavy equipment. And, unlike concrete, no excavation is required to do the job. The less the soil is disturbed, the better. In fact, polyurethane foam stabilizes soils by filling voids caused by water saturation with a water-resistant seal, so you don’t have to worry about fixing the problem again. Polyurethane foam is quickly becoming the mainstream way of handling these problems and with a price point of less than half the cost of replacing your seawall, it’s a sound and smart decision. If you are seeing symptoms of damage to your seawall, contact Mr. Level today to schedule an inspection and get it taken care of the right way.