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When is a Composite Seawall Panel the Best Fit for Your Needs?

by Duncan Seawall

People that own waterfront property make the smart decision to have a seawall built to eliminate shoreline erosion. Lakefront land can erode due to drainage problems, harsh weather, and the constant force of water from the action of waves and tide. As a form of coastal defense, a seawall will not only conserve your useable land, it will also promote more leisure activity along the coastline.

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When deciding upon an appropriate new seawall to protect your property, the homeowner has a number of viable choices available. Aluminum, concrete, steel, wood, vinyl, and composite materials are available options to consider. It is best to work with an experienced, high-quality seawall design and construction contractor to determine which materials are best for your location. Factors such as the local climate, the physical force of water, and the position of your land along the coast will help determine the best materials to build a seawall.

What is a Composite Seawall?

A composite seawall serves as a defense against ground erosion, as well as an attractive addition to your home landscaping as they are available in a variety of colors. Composite seawalls are an engineered material with remarkable strength, consisting of fiber reinforced polymers. As an advanced building material, a composite seawall offers many advantages over steel or wood options.

Composite seawall panels are corrugated, pre-formed panels which offer extra strength against hard shoreline erosion. The installation process is quicker than traditional seawall materials and a minimum of heavy construction equipment is required. Additional benefits of a composite seawall is that they are corrosion resistant and the harmful effects of ultraviolet sunlight. When installed for the right application, a composite seawall offers long term performance and is a better investment.

When is a Composite Seawall Best?

All materials used for seawall construction have optimum performance in different operating scenarios.

  • Smaller Area of Protection - If your home has only a small coastal line, then a composite seawall is a great option. The lower tensile strength of composite materials makes them perfect for small coastline protection and those where the storm and tidal impact are not excessive.
  • Difficult to Access Areas - For areas that are difficult to access, composite seawall construction is preferred. The installation process is faster and easier to install than traditional seawalls.
  • Taller Seawalls - If your shoreline requires a taller seawall, then a composite material is the best choice, as they have more strength and impact resistance. For those that live in the Northeast portion of the United States, a taller seawall is usually required.
  • Highly Durable - As an engineered material, composite seawalls are designed to endure the harsh conditions both under and above the waterline. Expect a long lifecycle when you choose composite materials for your seawall construction.
  • Steel Sheet Wall Replacement - A composite seawall is an excellent replacement material when removing old steel sheet seawall material.
  • Cold Climates and Conditions - If you live along the Northeast shoreline, the colder waters make composite seawall a better choice.

While composite seawall construction has many benefits that exceed steel or wood construction, you should always consult with a seawall provider that can also calculate the design requirements for your property. Composite seawalls are a beautiful addition to your homes landscape and can be matched with similar styled composite decks for your docking needs.

Homeowners never have to worry about sanding, staining, or painting composite seawalls as the coating is designed to withstand both water and weather. Composite materials offer a greater protection from harsh weather conditions, and will usually be guaranteed against rot, corrosion, and rust. Also consider that these seawalls are resistant to marine boring pests that destroy wooden seawalls and docks.

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