Picking materials for your coastal property’s seawall should depend on a few factors. What you choose to build or repair with should be based on your water’s pH levels and constructing a seawall in salt or freshwater. The best material may also depend on the cost and your budget. The good news is that our construction team here at K.E. Braza can help you choose the best seawall material for your needs and financial situation. In this article, we’ll take a look at the five most common seawall construction materials:
Wood or timber seawalls have been used for centuries. They’re aesthetically pleasing and typically last about 25 years or more when properly treated and maintained. Since wood seawalls are generally made out of planks or sheets, it’s also possible to replace a few rotten pieces rather than the entire seawall.
Aluminum and Steel
Similar to wood, aluminum and steel last about 25 years. Aluminum, however, is lightweight and not commonly recommended for high seawalls. The pH of the water should also be tested as low pH levels can contribute to corrosion.
Steel is considered one of the best seawall materials due to its long life-span, durability, and zero height limitations. However, it has a high installation cost and must be treated with a protective coating every few years to reduce the likelihood of corrosion.
Concrete has a lifespan of more than 30 years and is exceptionally long-lasting when installed correctly. However, the concrete composition must be precisely controlled following the environment, including water pH levels and weather conditions. The concrete may also need to be poured at angles to distribute the force of the waves evenly. When it comes to repairs and maintenance, it’s similar to wood in that sections can be removed and replaced, and gaps and cracks can be filled.
Masonry refers to large boulders and rocks and is most often used for revetments. In this case, the home or business is located on a hill, cliff, or raised bank, and they are designed to prevent soil erosion along the slope. Masonry can also create aesthetically pleasing seawalls in place of concrete or other materials.
Vinyl and composite materials are new to the seawall building industry. It has the potential to last more than 50 years, which is attractive to some property owners. It can also be used to repair and raise existing seawalls. However, when used alone, vinyl has limitations on how tall it can be built. If the surface under the seawall is rough, it’s probably best to choose a different material.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Seawall?
If you’re curious how much it costs to build a seawall, the truth is that it depends on the length and height of the seawall as well as the material chosen. In general, you can assume that vinyl seawalls are the least expensive and steel seawalls are the most costly.
Let K.E. Braza Help You Choose the Best Seawall Material
If you are uncertain about which is the best material for your seawall in Connecticut, we can help. Our team can explain the sea wall advantages and disadvantages, benefits, drawbacks, and prices of various seawall material types and recommend the best kind for your property. To learn more about K.E. Braza’s seawall construction services, contact us today.