When it comes to waterfront properties, the benefits of seawalls cannot be denied. Not only does climate change cause sea levels to rise, which may put waterfront homes in further danger of flooding; but strong currents, waves, and storms also wear away at the shoreline, making waterfront properties lose curb appeal along with market value. Even worse, shoreline erosion can destroy a home if the problem is left unaddressed. Luckily, a well-built and maintained seawall can easily prevent all these problems.
If you live in Galveston, TX, or any other city that’s close to a large body of water, and there’s a seawall on your property, you may already know that the high-impact energy derived from strong winds and waves can take a huge toll on it. Irrespective of the materials it is made from, the seawall will eventually deteriorate, letting the water pass through.
Regardless of the type of seawall you have, regular maintenance and repairs are a must in order to ensure it will continue to protect your home against coastal flooding and erosion. Here are the most important benefits of keeping your seawall in tip-top shape:
- It protects Your Home’s Foundation – A really big problem for a waterfront home located in the Galveston-Houston area is that excess water could accumulate underneath its foundation during a storm or flood event. Too much water could cause the clay soil beneath the home to expand considerably, which may lead to foundation cracking, heaving, differential settlement, bowing walls, uneven flooring, and many other problems throughout the house. Having a seawall that acts as a strong barrier between your property and the seawater is one of the few things you can do to prevent extensive damage to your home. It’s also worth mentioning that regular seawall maintenance and repair is less expensive and stressful than having to repair your foundation and home after they might have sustained expensive damage due to excess water.
- It Prevents Soil Erosion – One of the main roles of a seawall is to prevent shore erosion. Failure to maintain your seawall in good condition basically means that the waves will eventually start to eat away at your yard. Besides gradually losing your yard to the Gulf waters, any waves that reach the soil adjacent to your home could dig under the foundation, causing a section of it to sink or even collapse entirely. However, that’s more likely to happen to the homes located right on or very close to the shore. Conversely, a properly maintained seawall will keep the seawater away from your home, preventing soil erosion and ensuring that your foundation has all the support it needs to maintain its level position.
- It Can Increase the Market Value of Your Property – A partially damaged seawall or a seawall showing cracks or holes isn’t only visually unappealing; it may also be unsafe. If you’re planning to sell your waterfront home soon, repairing the seawall can significantly improve the curb appeal of your property along with its market value. As well, a well-maintained home usually attracts more buyers and could sell for more than the comparable properties in the area.
- You Can Save a Lot of Money – Without maintaining and repairing your seawall on a regular basis, you could find yourself replacing different sections or even the entire wall more often than you’d like. Depending on its length as well as the materials it’s made from, replacing a seawall can be quite costly. Preventing damage by taking the preventative measures necessary is typically more cost-effective than going through a major repair or complete replacement every few years.
Knowing exactly when you should repair your seawall is very important to avoid damage to your home. The easiest way to find out when your seawall needs to be repaired is to inspect the entire structure at least a few times a year as well as after each storm or heavy rain. If you observe any cracks or holes, elements beginning to deteriorate, components detaching from the seawall, or soil being washed away from near or underneath the wall, make sure you call in an expert for further evaluation.
In addition to maintaining your seawall in good condition, elevating your home above the BFE is another preventative measure you can take to effectively protect your home from potential damage that might be caused by excess water and/or soil erosion. If you live in Galveston, TX, maintaining your seawall in good condition and lifting your house above the BFE can turn your home into an almost indestructible structure that could be able to stand up against almost anything Mother Nature may throw at it, including heavy rain, storms, and flooding.
House lifting projects and foundation inspections, estimates, and repairs are our specialty. In fact, Allied Foundation is one of the few Houston-based full-service contractors specializing in all things foundations. Being highly specialized and skilled in foundation repairs as well as house lifting projects, our team can help you develop the best preventative maintenance strategy for your Houston or Galveston property. Whether you have any questions or just want to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts today!