Most of the time, living on the Florida waterfront is a dream delivering amazing weather, beautiful views, and enviable access to the water just outside your door. But it can also leave you vulnerable to some of mother nature’s fury, often arriving in the form of a hurricane. Since we don’t know what this hurricane season may bring, being prepared for the worst is the best line of defense. Plus, knowing that your seawall could play a key role defending your property and (more importantly) your loved ones, you need to ensure it is in excellent condition.
How to Prepare Your Seawall So It’s Ready for Hurricane Season
There are a few simple steps you can take to get your seawall prepared to face hurricanes this season.
Inspect Your Seawall for Damage
Your seawall is only as strong as its weakest part. Start preparing your seawall for hurricane season by assessing its current condition. When inspecting your seawall for damage, look for:
- Visible rust stains and where the stains are coming from.
- Corrosion from being exposed to natural elements, such as wind and water, especially saltwater.
- Signs of damage caused by the normal wear and tear of everyday use.
- Space between slabs that appears to be widening or becoming misaligned.
- Cracked, bowing, or leaning slabs.
- Cracks in the seawall cap or any small chunks broken off of it.
- Soil settling or any holes along the seawall.
Assess Changing Environmental Conditions Impacting Seawall Stability
Not all elements impacting the stability of a seawall are visible to the naked eye. Changes to the environment near a seawall can lead to a pressure imbalance, which could cause your seawall to fail. Some of the most common causes of seawall pressure imbalances include:
- Changes to water flow patterns
- Changes to your living space
- Landscaping modifications
For more information on these common causes of seawall pressure imbalances, visit Part IV of our Seawall Failure Series.
Expand or Extend Your Seawall
With hurricanes staying stronger for longer, they have the potential to bring greater danger and destruction. Stronger for longer hurricanes can deliver more powerful storm surges where an unusual rise in water during a storm is pushed toward the shoreline by powerful, forceful winds. It can cause water to rise well above normal levels and bring more water further inland.
Storm surges can be one of the greatest threats to human life – even more so than the powerful hurricane winds. Surges can push a huge volume of water inland for many miles. The speed and force at which a storm surge arrives leaves little warning time for people to get to higher ground. Surges can cause lots of damage, demolish buildings, flood homes, wash away roads, etc. Within minutes, people can become stranded on rooftops or in vehicles, or worse – be injured or killed.
Stronger, longer, and taller seawalls provide better protection against storm surges. Expanding and/or extending your seawall helps better protect your loved ones and your property.
Seawall Inspection and Repair Services in Tampa Bay
If you are unsure of what to look for when assessing your seawall, or would just like some assistance, call the seawall experts at Gibson Marine Construction. We offer seawall inspection and repair services to help you get your seawall ready for hurricane season. Contact us to learn more.