The challenges of owning waterfront property

Failing seawalls, broken docks and maintaining our decks, boat lifts and waterfront lighting are additional issues that we, as waterfront property owners, must address in order to protect our personal property. It’s important to understand the  purpose of these necessary and costly features that surround our homes and how to choose the right contractor to help you with repairs or construction should one of them begin to fail.

Seawall Repair
This seawall is in need of repair and reconstruction.

A seawall, also known as a bulkhead or retaining wall, keeps the water from eroding the soil back into the water. The stability of any seawall is dependent upon variables such as wall height, sheet pile length and strength, wale system, backfill, foundation soil and tide. Curved seawalls allow waves to break against them while reducing their energy. Others are straight, designed to bring waves to a standstill.

Homeowners are looking at new ways to protect their properties due to the frequency of storms and hurricanes. The challenges of owning waterfront property include storm surges causing erosion, UV damage to traditional materials, corrosion of aluminum and steel, and deterioration caused by marine borers that thrive on pressure-treated lumber.

A seawall is an invaluable structure for those homeowners who live close to the water and rely on the wall to protect their homes from water damage. The constant ground movements and battering of the wall by the elements can often lead to unsightly cracks and a pitted surface. Once you see an area of your seawall starting to fail, its time to get it repaired. Putting it off will only cost you more in the long run.

Docks and decks can rot or break after time and if they aren’t protected with pressure-treated lumber or built with quality materials, they immediately become a safety hazard to your family or visitors.

Seawalls, docks and decks all present safety hazards if left untreated or unrepaired. Repairing or constructing can be costly, so it’s imperative that you choose the right contractor for the job.  Meet with potential contractors and learn about their experience, knowledge and staff who will be handling your project. And don’t always go with the lowest bidder without doing your research first.

The lowest price contractor may be missing some key elements to make it a quality project: highly skilled labor whose pay is commiserate with experience; a quality control and training department who knows what works and what doesn’t; and, manpower to conduct supervision and inspection to ensure no shortcuts are being taken, to name a few.

It’s only a matter of time before problems emerge and the joy of finding the lowest price is shadowed by the bitterness of an improperly completed job, ultimately resulting in unnecessary additional expense and inconvenience.

For your first choice in marine construction, we hope you’ll consider calling Gibson Marine Construction.  We only use the highest quality materials to save you time and money down the road. For our sake and yours, we will always do the right thing, take the time to do the job right, and pay attention to every detail. Gibson Marine Construction is a state certified general contractor and has over 30 years of local experience in building seawalls, docks and installing boat lifts for homeowners, resort and residential communities. For more information about Gibson Marine Construction’s services and experience, please call 727-942-3111 or visit our website at

Dock Demolition
The dock (above) reconstructed with quality materials for visual and structural enhancements
Seawall Construction
The seawall (above) reconstructed and repaired

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