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Florida Seawall & Bulkhead Repair


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Seawall repairs / Bulkhead repairs are a common concern faced by coastal dwellers, and shoreline residences. A  waterfront Seawall or Bulkhead is constantly impacted, and stressed by water flow, via tidal flux, and seasonal storms. No matter how well engineered eventually all seawalls and bulkheads will face erosion and weathering and thus all Seawall / Bulkhead will require repairs at some point. Seawalls and Bulkheads can be an engineering marvels if constructed correctly. Frequently, however, their construction is less than satisfactory and after only a few several years they will begin to show signs of stress and begin eroding soil under and through cracks in your Seawall or Bulkhead. This can pose a dangerous threat to persons near or adjacent to the walls after erosion begins, due to unstable earth and concrete after voiding of the soils. Often, these voids are covered by vegetation and are hidden from casual view. Seawalls or Bulkheads in need of repair can also pose a huge threat to nearby buildings and structures once the erosion cycle starts. Once this process starts, it’s a constant, and usually losing battle to repair the erosion areas such as cracks and holes and to continue filling eroded soil voids with new soil to retain proper soil compaction to support these structures.

Photos of Seawall or Bulkhead Erosion:

Warning Signs Indicating Need of Seawall Repair / Bulkhead Repair

SEAWALL / BULKHEAD BEHIND WALL SOIL EROSION SIGNS – What To Look For:

Persistent rain, waves, tidal action and poor irrigation and run-off can amount to quickly compounding and expensive to repair sea wall / bulkhead soil erosion or “Voids” below ground and behind your Seawall or Bulkhead.

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SEAWALL / BULKHEAD ANCHOR FAILURE SIGNS: What To Look For:

Prolonged exposure to saltwater where corrosion has deteriorated the Anchor Rod and fasteners to a point where excesses in weight or loading from behind the wall creates possible failures of the Seawall or Bulkhead.

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SEAWALL / BULKHEAD CAP FAILURE SIGNS: What To Look For:

Prolonged exposure to saltwater where corrosion has caused the reinforcing steel in the Seawall or Bulkhead Cap to corrode and expand causing cracks to develop. As the steel continues to corrode and expand, portions of the Cap will break off, thus weakening the Cap, leading to failure of the Seawall or Bulkhead.

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SEAWALL / BULKHEAD SHEET PILE FAILURE SIGNS: What To Look For:

Loss of berm in front of the Seawall or Bulkhead causing the toe of the Seawall or Bulkhead wall to move outward at the bottom. Excess loading from behind causing horizontal cracks to develop in the Seawall or Bulkhead sheet piles, exposing the reinforcing steel in the sheet piles to saltwater. Prolonged exposure to the harsh elements weakens the sheet piles, which will lead to failure of the Seawall or Bulkhead.

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LEARN ABOUT OUR SEAWALL / BULKHEAD SHEET PILE REPAIR SOLUTIONS

 

THE PHYSICS OF SEAWALL / BULKHEAD SOIL EROSION: What To Look For:

Florida Seawalls and Bulkheads are prone to erosion despite the fact that they are designed to repel water (from ocean, lake, river) as well as contain the neighboring soils, while getting constantly beaten and worn by weather, gravity, rising and falling tides, boat wakes, currents, seasonal water level changes, etc. During heavy rain events, Seawall or Bulkheads must be able to “exhale” the newly introduced water in the soils into the adjacent water body. If they are not “exhaled,” extreme hydraulic pressure will be exerted on the seawall. Because water seeks the path of least resistance, it will eventually find a weak area (panel joint, attachment anchor) or eventually crack a panel. In a “worse-case scenario,” the water will exit underneath the seawall panels taking soil with it. This can cause extremely weak soils and thus soil erosion occurs from the upper soils at a very rapid pace. And, because the weak soil zones can and do happen at any vertical level in the surrounding, adjacent soils, soil collapse can occur. More commonly, soil erosion causes soils located directly behind the seawall begin to weaken and create voids. We have had cases where you could actually see the soil color difference in the water, directly below and close to the bottom of the seawall structure! The same soil erosion is not necessarily true when the pressures are reversed in a properly sealed and vented seawall. Prevent further property damage by putting a stop to seawall erosion. The importance of proper seawall repairs / bulkhead repairs to defer expensive seawall erosion expenses is self-evident and the sooner the better!

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