Many people enjoy the benefit of relaxing activities and recreational sports that living by the water affords. Who doesn’t love a day on the beach with the family or a sunny afternoon deep-sea fishing with the guys? Homeowners who live near the ocean face very specific property issues, however, related to the maritime climate and proximity to the water. One of these challenges is seawall maintenance. A failing seawall can create bigger problems for your property, so it is essential to have a reputable construction company that performs seawall repair in Old Saybrook, CT, like K.E. Braza, on your side.
While you should always have a trusted seawall construction company in your Rolodex, it is also important to keep up with regular seawall chores and maintenance on your own. The professionals are at your service for major needs, but there are ways you can protect your seawall and increase its lifespan. How long does a seawall last? Well, if properly taken care of, your seawall can last up to 50 years, so consider these five tips as we head into summer.
1. INSPECT THE SEAWALL SURFACE
One of the first things on your outdoor chore and maintenance list should be to conduct a visual inspection of your seawall on a regular basis. By closely checking things out, you can stay on top of keeping your seawall in good working condition. You should check for cracks that need repairs if your seawall is concrete or vinyl, and for rot, splitting, and termite damage if you have a wooden seawall. When you inspect your seawall frequently, you can be sure to catch small problems before they become major issues.
2. KEEP WEEP HOLES UNCLOGGED
Seawalls undergo a great deal of stress from water pressure. There is pressure from the saturated ground on one side of the wall, as well as from the water it holds back on the seaward side. The weep holes in your seawall perform an important job by relieving the pressure that your wall faces. These pressure relief valves must be clear enough for water to move through every day and relieve the stress on the seawall. We all know how much debris there is in the water all the time, though. Leaves, limbs, twigs, and sadly, trash are all items that clog the filtration system of the seawall’s weep holes. To maintain the system’s integrity, you should be removing debris from the seawall and taking the time to clear these weep holes on a regular basis to ensure proper water flow.
3. REMOVE VEGETATION
The summer sun, sea spray, and temperate climate encourage a lot of beautiful greenery in the summer months. You most likely see a great deal of seasonal vegetation in your seawall area every year. As with any structure, certain types of plant growth can damage the structural durability of your seawall. Root systems to many seasonal fauna reach out for quite a distance to collect the water the plant life needs to survive. As the roots penetrate the seawall, they can cause dangerous cracks in the wall that allow water to enter and deteriorate the seawall from the inside. This deterioration, in turn, causes the wall to be especially susceptible to the intense water pressure it holds back. As you do your landscaping tasks, be sure to remove plant growth from the area around your seawall regularly.
4. APPLY WATERPROOFING
There are many different varieties of seawalls, made of an array of materials, that provide various types of barriers. Construction materials range from wooden structures to steel walls, and those made of stone or concrete. Depending on the type of seawall you have, there is a spray-on waterproofing product that you may be able to apply. This provides an extra layer of protection from water erosion.
5. SEAL CRACKS
When you find minor cracks in your seawall, you may be able to provide a temporary fix on your own. To repair cracks in seawalls, you should research the type of product that is best suited to your needs. Some products that may be helpful include liquid concrete, marine grout, and concrete for seawall construction and repair. Before conducting any major seawall crack repairs yourself, it is always a good idea to check with a seawall construction professional to be sure the damage is not more severe than it looks.
If you are facing the challenges that an aging seawall poses, the professionals at K.E. Braza Construction is just a call away. As a family-owned and operated company with nearly three decades in the business, we specialize in seawall construction in Old Saybrook, CT, Fairfield, Stonington, and offer seawall maintenance and seawall repair services for Connecticut homeowners. Contact us today at (860) 662-0124, or leave us a message with our convenient online form. We look forward to hearing from you!