The Benefits of Using Rip Rap in Your Seawall Construction

If you own a property on the water, you know, all too well, how much of an impact the stability and quality of your seawall has on the value of your property. Keeping your seawall in good repair is important, but so is its appearance. The look of your seawall can vary depending on what kind of material you use and there are many different kinds to choose from. From vinyl to wood, rip rap to landscape retaining walls, it is important to do the research to determine which material is right for your property. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using rip rap in your seawall construction.

Natural Look

Rip Rap seawalls consist of rocks, stone or other materials arranged along the wall giving it a more natural look than, say, a vinyl or wood wall. The rocks and stone act as a barrier helping prevent erosion from water. Gibson Marine Construction uses Florida fieldstone or lime rock in our construction of rip rap seawalls, giving it a true “Florida feel.” If your seawall is exposed to fresh water, vegetation will usually grow through the rocks, adding esthetic and structural value.


Helps Prevent Erosion

Because rip rap absorbs waves coming in towards your property, it is able to dissipate most of the wave energy, rather than reflect it. This helps keep the dirt at the bottom of the seawall from eroding away. If you live in an area where erosion is a major problem, adding rip rap in front of your seawall might help to mitigate this issue.


Provides a Great Habitat for Wildlife!

Rip rap provides a habitat where marine life can hide, eat, rest and attach and grow. Because of this, rip rap is typically favored from an environmental perspective. The nature of a vertical seawall (such as a wood wall, or vinyl wall) makes it hard for marine plants and animals to thrive in those locations. By utilizing rip rap, a more ecologically friendly community can develop as the shoreline can now be used by crabs, oysters, fish and marine vegetation.


Requires Less Maintenance

Because rip rap walls are made of stone piles, they are self-adjusting to small amounts of movement due to settlement or other minor adjustments. Even with minor damage, a rip rap seawall can continue to function properly. Rip rap can also be repaired easily by replacing stone, as needed, and in most cases materials are typically readily available. However, it is important that a rip rap wall is checked at least annually, and especially after a major storm for displaced stones, and erosion.

Rip rap is the most widely used type of seawall in the United States, and it’s easy to see why with these benefits! There are many factors that play in to the decision of which material to use for your seawall, but rip rap provides many benefits for both the homeowner and the environment surrounding the home. If you are trying to decide which material to use on your seawall project, feel free to contact us for more information on rip rap, wood, vinyl or any other type of wall!


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