The Two Cs

What Will Be Checked for During a Seawall Inspection

Seawalls are crucial structures that protect coastal properties from erosion and flooding. To ensure their effectiveness and longevity, regular inspections are essential. A thorough seawall inspection covers various critical components to identify any signs of damage or deterioration. In this blog, we will explore what is typically checked for during a seawall inspection to maintain the structural integrity of these vital coastal defenses.

Structural Integrity

One of the primary aspects inspected during a seawall assessment is the overall structural integrity of the wall. This involves checking for any visible cracks, bulges, or shifts in the structure that could indicate underlying issues. The inspector will assess the condition of the materials used in construction, such as concrete or steel sheet piles, to ensure they are still capable of withstanding the forces exerted by waves and tides.

Erosion and Settlement

Erosion is a common threat to seawalls, as constant exposure to water can gradually wear away the protective barrier. During an inspection, erosion levels along the base and sides of the seawall will be closely examined to determine if any remedial action is needed. Settlement, which refers to the gradual sinking of the wall into the ground, will also be assessed to prevent structural instability.

Toe Protection

The toe of a seawall plays a crucial role in preventing undermining caused by wave action at its base. Inspectors will check for adequate toe protection measures, such as riprap or concrete aprons, to ensure that the foundation of the seawall remains secure and protected from erosion.

Drainage Systems

Proper drainage is essential for preventing water buildup behind the seawall, which can lead to hydrostatic pressure and compromise its stability. Inspectors will evaluate the effectiveness of drainage systems, including weep holes, pipes, and culverts, to ensure they are clear and functioning correctly.

Vegetation and Marine Growth

Vegetation and marine growth on or around the seawall can weaken its structure and promote erosion. During an inspection, any vegetation roots penetrating the wall or excessive marine growth that could cause abrasion will be identified for removal.

Seawall Cap

The top of a seawall, known as the cap, provides additional protection against wave action and helps prevent water from seeping into the structure. Inspectors will check for cracks or deterioration in the cap material and ensure it is properly sealed to maintain its protective function.

Regular seawall inspections are essential for identifying potential issues early and ensuring that coastal properties remain adequately protected from erosion and flooding. By addressing any problems promptly through maintenance or repairs based on inspection findings, property owners can extend the lifespan of their seawalls and safeguard their investments against coastal hazards.

Contact a company like Reuben Clarson Consulting to learn more.