3 Signs A Seawall Needs Repair

Seawalls protect properties near coastlines against damage from storm surges and high waves. Thus, it is essential to ensure seawalls are in good condition to prevent the potential loss of lives and property. Some signs of damage to look for when maintaining a seawall include soil settling around the seawall, damage to sheet piles, and slab misalignment. Clogged weep holes can also signal seawall damage as they prevent water from draining from behind the seawall. Other factors to consider include: 

Visible Cracks

Cracks on seawalls do not necessarily mean the structures have damage. Remember, concrete often cracks following prolonged exposure to weather elements. However, there are certain kinds of cracks seawall inspection services like to monitor. For instance, any cracks located on or around the seawall cap can be a sign of structural damage to the seawall. Inspectors check for horizontal cracks along the seawall cap to assess the extent of the damage. They also look for cracks on the top and the sides of the seawall. Cracks on the seawall cap side facing the water can be hazardous to the structural integrity of the seawall. Thus, it is vital to make necessary repairs to the seawall when you observe such cracks.

Unexplainable Rust and Corrosion

One of the most significant indicators of a damaged seawall is visible rusting. The rust can be on exposed steel rods and metal railings which is not necessarily concerning but should not be ignored. It can also be rust stains seeping through cracks in the concrete wall, which is more concerning to seawall inspection services. Rust stains are a sign of corrosion of the steel rods within the wall's concrete structure. When steel rods get exposed to saltwater entering the concrete wall, they expand and rust, leading to rust stains and widening cracks in the concrete wall. Thus, rust should get resolved as quickly as possible to avoid a cascade of other problems with a seawall.

Growing Gaps Between Slab Walls

Minor gaps between seawall slabs are typical because they need room to expand, especially on scorching days. However, once you notice the gaps growing, it is time to hire seawall inspection services. The openings can result from several factors, including joint and anchors problems. The gaps can get wider because of breakage or damage to the joints or anchors. Thus, it is vital to conduct regular inspections of joints and anchors to avoid further damage to the seawall and the seawall cap.

Contact a local seawall inspection service to learn more.