Q : Can I raise the grade of my property with the existing Seawall?
A : The Seawall must be evaluated by a Florida marine construction engineer to determine if the structure can withstand the additional loads from fill and structural modifications. Deterioration can severely weaken the structural capacity and the Seawall was most likely designed for the existing conditions, however many walls can be raised with the addition of a taller cap.
Q : What is the best material for seawalls?
A : Material selection is site-specific and dependent on design conditions. Concrete (if designed appropriately) generally provides a long service life, but it is not favorable from a first-cost basis. Vinyl sheet piling and other composite materials, where applicable, should be considered due to their resistance to the harsh marine environment and 50+ year service life.
Q : How long can I expect my wall to last?
A : Answers to this question are generally subjective. An experienced marine project structural engineer can provide general assumptions as to the “expected remaining service life” of marine construction. Comparisons with observed deterioration over time can also provide an indication of material performance. Certain non-destructive and/or partially destructive exploratory excavations are good to evaluate condition of the tie backs. Underwater photographs of steel sheet piling materials testing can provide additional information for the assessment.
Q : What regulatory permits are required?
A :Seawalls typically require an environmental resource permit from several agencies including the county environmental resource management agency (DERM), the DEP, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Depending on the jurisdiction, the local water management district may also issue a permit.
Q : How often should I inspect the wall?
A : The ASCE Manual provides guidance for the frequency of inspections. Generally, Seawalls should be evaluated every 5 to 6 years by a marine structural engineer or marine contractor.
Q : How do I repair my wall?
A : A qualified marine structural engineer should be consulted to evaluate the existing wall and to determine if rehabilitation or replacement is required. Options can generally be provided to provide an economical approach to meet budget constraints.
Q : Who can build a wall?
A : Marine structures are specialized structures, often requiring water-based construction equipment and techniques. The costs for waterfront construction are generally higher than for upland structures such as buildings. Seawalls construction work should be reserved for a qualified and experienced Florida marine contractor … like Perfection!
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