A lot of this information and imagery are from my inspector days at Honor Services. Thank goodness for them!
So you are worried about your seawall failing or concerned about repair or replacement costs of your seawall. Well, you have come to the right place!
How to Know if Your Seawall is Failing
Seawalls can have a lifespan of 30-50 years and that all depends on your type and the environmental conditions. Also, you should know your seawall could fail prematurely if you have bad weather conditions and a lack of maintenance. To illustrate, hurricanes can cause significant damage to seawall structures, and if they are not repaired, then the damage can lead to further development of the issue.
Signs of Seawall Failures
So here are some ways you can tell if your seawall is failing:
- leaning (shown in the featured image)
- cracks on the cap (shown below)
- soil erosion near the seawall cap
- water entry
- corroded or exposed tiebacks (shown first in the video below)
- damaged seawall (this would be on the water side and may be difficult to see)
I have added some great examples in images below with captions. Obviously, some issues are more prominent than others so it may depend on your given circumstance. In general, small hairline cracks in the seawall cap are a nonissue, but larger (greater than 1/8 inch) are to be of concern.
Video on Failing Seawalls & Erosion
Walk the length of the seawall (right against the cap) in order to find spots of failing with erosion. Sometimes landscaping and grass can hide the effects of erosion.
Seawall Repair, Replace, & Costs
So if you find signs of seawall failure the important thing is to get it addressed as soon as possible. A bad hurricane can easily wipe out your seawall and cause further damage to your home!
To repair or replace a seawall, it can cost anywhere from $150-$250 per linear square foot.
News Story on Seawall Costs After Hurricanes
You can read about this homeowner who is having to pay over $40,000 for her seawall after a hurricane!
Obviously, every contractor and location will differ and might be outside that range so be sure to do your research into the contractors you are looking to hire!
A marine contractor in Florida can tell you if it is best to repair or just replace your seawall based on your given circumstance.
If you have questions or more concerns on seawall failures and repair costs, comment below! We do inspect docks and seawalls during real estate transactions so we would be happy to provide some guidance! 😁