Top Tips for Maintaining Your Seawall

Waterfront property offers you a unique experience as a homeowner. You have exclusive access to a body of water, amazing views, and a new world of maintenance to learn. Whether you live on the ocean or a lake, you may now have a sea wall on your hands. Sea walls guard against erosion and maintain the integrity of your land. Don’t let it fall into disrepair.

Pay Attention to Your Landscaping

One of the biggest potential threats to your sea wall is roots. Roots are naturally inclined to grow towards water. Given enough time, they grow up against the wall through the soil and create pressure. Cracks form as they force their way through.

Woody plants such as trees and shrubs are the most likely to cause trouble. However, any plant with a powerful root system can be a problem. Avoid this issue by keeping the area next to your sea wall clear of large vegetation.

Roots can travel quite a distance to find water, so ensure plants are at least 10-30 feet away. The bigger the plant the further its roots can travel, so large trees should be the furthest away.

Unclog Your Weep Holes

Weep holes are small holes drilled into your sea wall to relieve hydrostatic pressure. In layman’s terms, this means that water that has built up behind the wall and saturated the ground has an avenue to escape. The holes are typically 1-2” in diameter and located at the high water mark.

It’s important to keep these holes free and clear. A buildup of pressure will find release somehow, and that usually results in damage to the sea wall. Vegetation and debris can fill up the holes, so take the time to clear them out every so often. Use a tool like a hook or wire to make this task easier.

Practice Prevention

There are many types of sea walls, like wood or concrete walls. The style, size, and materials used vary widely, from stone to steel. However, they are all affected by the constant contact with water over time. Prevent pitting, erosion, and rot by applying waterproofing to your wall.

Stay on Top of Cracks

Inspect your sea wall often to catch damage as early as possible. You should address all imperfections immediately, no matter how minor. You don’t want to let cracks go untreated for too long because you could end up with an expensive repair or total collapse.


Small cracks are easy to fix. Specialized products like marine grout and liquid concrete are good for this. Sometimes it’s preferable to use concrete. Research methods and products that work best with the material of your sea wall, the climate you live in, and the salinity of the water. You may want to consult with a professional before making a decision.

Sea walls are a big responsibility— they provide critical infrastructure for your property. Don’t face this responsibility alone and seek out professional support. The experts at All State Civil Construction can help you assess your situation, provide quality repairs and work with you to make a plan of action. Give us a call today at (386) 465-2187 for a free estimate.



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