Which Seawall Material Is Right for You?

If you own a property on the Florida waterfront, you know just how important your seawall is to the protection and value of your property. It’s essential to have a seawall structure in place that will prevent erosion, protect against storm damage, and even enhance the look of the property from the water.

Seawall Material Recommendations

With the variety of options for the materials used to build your seawall, how do you know which option is right for your property? These explanations can help you to make an informed decision.

Rip Rap Seawall Material

A rip rap (or stone) seawall adds stability to the shoreline while giving your property a natural look. The rip rap consists of rocks, stone or other material arranged to prevent erosion from water. While this option is most commonly used on shorelines of creeks and rivers, it can be used anywhere that erosion from water is a possibility.

Rip rap not only looks natural, but it also provides a great habitat for wildlife! Especially when the tide is high, rip rap seawall materials offer an ideal shelter for small marine animals.

It is important that rip rap is installed properly. Gibson Marine Construction installs an underlayment before adding the rip rap materials. This paramount layer provides stability and support. And, once the underlayment is installed, Florida fieldstone or lime rock is installed over it at a 2:1 ratio with rock between 8” and 24”.

Wood Seawalls and Wood Capped Seawall Material Options

Wood seawalls are another material option that can provide a natural look and has a lower initial installation cost. But it is important that properly treated wood is used at installation to avoid rot. Gibson Marine Construction uses all marine-grade material for our wood seawalls. Depending on the environment, this option could provide many years of service.

However, wood seawalls are prone to factors that could require more-frequent repairs or replacement, so alternative options may better suit your property. A wood capped seawall can provide the same esthetic, but with better supporting materials below the wood cap, it can also provide better stability and last longer.

Vinyl Seawall Material

Vinyl seawalls, also known as PVC seawalls, have many benefits that exceed the other two options. Although they don’t offer the natural look that rip rap or wood seawalls provide, vinyl seawalls do, however, provide much greater protection from the elements. Plus, our vinyl seawalls are backed by a 50-year warranty against rust, rot, corrosion, falling prey to marine bores, or UV damage from the sun.

Vinyl seawalls are typically easier to install and are extremely durable which could add up to cost savings both upfront, and over time. Vinyl seawalls are resistant to the natural elements such as sun, wind, and water, as well as marine-boring critters that target wood seawalls.

Seawall Installation and Repair Experts

No matter which seawall material you choose, Gibson Marine Construction can install any option. Whether it’s rip rap, wood, wood capped, or vinyl, we can make your waterfront property safer and more beautiful with a new seawall!

Or if your seawall is in need a repair, we can help there too! Contact us today if you have any questions about our seawall materials and services.

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