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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Seawalls

by Duncan Seawall

There are many reasons people prefer seawalls along the shorelines. While there are benefits of seawalls, they also have various downsides. If you are considering a seawall, you want to ensure you have the right information to help you make informed decisions. Here is a guide to the advantages and disadvantages of seawalls.


Related Blog: What is a Seawall and How Does it Work?


What is a Seawall?

A seawall is a protective structure built along the coastline designed to mitigate the impact of strong waves and prevent coastal erosion, typically caused by storms, tides, and rising sea levels. Usually constructed from concrete, stone, or other robust materials, seawalls act as a barrier between the sea and the land, absorbing and reflecting the energy of the waves. They serve the dual purpose of defending coastal communities and contributing to the stabilization of the shoreline.  

Advantages of Building Seawalls 

One of the main reasons people consider having seawalls is to prevent erosion and flooding caused by waves. Coastlines experience flooding problems, so protecting the surrounding buildings from upland erosion and surge flooding is imperative. When waves crash against the shore, a seawall blocks the waves and redirects them back to the water. Here are the top advantages of building a seawall:

  • Seawalls keep your home and property safe and free from erosion.
  • They reduce and prevent erosion and flooding on the shoreline.
  • They offer increased safety for residents and visitors who want to spend time along the shoreline.
  • A seawall prevents damage to the soils and the environment.
  • They protect wildlife from getting eroded into the water.
  • Seawalls provide a frontier between the sea and the land.
  • The increased safety of a seawall encourages investment within the area.
  • Seawalls can be durable if they are well-maintained and repaired.
  • Seawalls can be adjusted, repaired, and modified easily by experts.  

Seawalls must be sturdy to handle intense wave crushes. It is also essential to consider the design and texture of the seawall. This carries a significant impact that influences the wall’s performance. The seawalls should also be deep into the foundation for enhanced stability and to overcome pressure from waves. 

seawall advantages

Disadvantages of Seawalls

While there are numerous advantages to building seawalls along the seashore, it also comes with several disadvantages.  

  • The material and construction costs can be expensive. 
  • Some seashores experience overtopping. This occurs when water levels in the sea increase and surpass the seawall height and overflows on the other side. 
  • When seawater hits the seawalls, it causes the area to move inland, forming a steeped appearance that eventually affects the environment around the area. 
  • Seawalls require the right designs and patterns for maximum performance. 
  • Some seawalls block access to people living with disabilities. This can pose a problem if the beach surrounded by the seawall is for recreational activities. 
  • Seawalls block sediments from getting to the adjacent coastline, which is crucial in enhancing beach amenity value. 

One of the primary things to know about seawalls is that construction requires careful analysis of the seashore and other crucial elements for an effective outcome and maximum performance. This needs experienced minds who understand how seawall construction works. 

If you are considering a seawall, the pros and cons above can help you make the right decisions. If you are thinking of constructing a seawall around your coastal line, we can help. Contact Duncan Seawalls today to get started. 

Complete Guide to Seawalls


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