Living in a coastal area provides you with the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean from your waterfront property. While living right on the water can be desirable, it also comes with a unique set of responsibilities. Seawalls are commonly found on waterfront properties.

A seawall is designed to protect the shoreline from erosion and flooding that could potentially cause serious damage to residences located in close proximity to the water. If your property is equipped with a seawall, you need to ensure that you are providing proper maintenance for this valuable feature in order to keep it structurally sound well into the future.

Here are three tips that you can use to better maintain your seawall and protect your property from erosion and flooding in the future.

1. Eliminate Plant Growth

Since your seawall is located in close proximity to a large water supply, vegetation will be drawn to the area. While some plants may not pose a threat, many of the vegetation varieties growing near seawalls could compromise the structural integrity of these structures over time.

As the root systems of plants growing in the vicinity of your seawall spread in search of moisture, they can create cracks in the facade of your seawall. These cracks make your seawall less resistant to the intense pressures placed on it by the water, and the cracks also allow water to seep into your seawall, where it can begin causing the materials used to construct the seawall to deteriorate.

Regularly removing plant growth from the vicinity of your seawall will help you keep the seawall intact.

2. Unclog Weep Holes

Your seawall is subjected to large amounts of water pressure on a daily basis. This water pressure can come both from the actual water the seawall is built to contain as well as the ground saturation of the soil behind the seawall.

In order to prevent this water pressure from damaging the structural integrity of the seawall, the pressure must be relieved on a regular basis. Weep holes act as pressure relief valves to help divert dangerous water pressure. In order to function properly, water needs to be able to move freely through these weep holes to regulate the water pressure your seawall bears each day.

Dirt, leaves and other debris can find their way into your seawall’s weep holes and clog up these filtration devices. Taking the time to unclog your seawall’s weep holes on a regular basis ensures that water can move through the valves with ease, preventing a dangerous buildup of water pressure from damaging your seawall in the future.

3. Complete Visual Inspections

Taking the time to carefully inspect the surface of your seawall on a regular basis can be a simple and effective way to ensure this important feature remains in working condition.

A visual inspection can reveal valuable information regarding the condition of your seawall. If your seawall is made from concrete or vinyl materials, check for cracks that could indicate the seawall is deteriorating and is in need of repair. If your seawall is constructed from treated wood, look for evidence of termite damage, splitting or rot.

Completing routine visual inspections will allow you to keep your seawall functioning properly over time because you’ll be able to spot potential problems before they become too serious.

Maintaining the seawall on your coastal property through plant removal, weep hole cleaning and routine visual inspection is critical when it comes to protecting your home from flooding or erosion. Contact the experienced professionals at Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc. for assistance in repairing and maintaining your seawall in the future.