Seawalls are excellent for protecting waterfront properties from excessive flooding and soil erosion.

However, you must be aware of a few seawall construction factors to be able to build a reliable structure. The most crucial factor lies in determining the seawall’s ideal depth, which is essential to protect your waterfront property.

Each waterfront barrier has unique depth requirements, depending on different considerations like its size. You thus have to know how to determine these measurements before starting your project.

So, read on for a guide about these seawall measurements to get the best construction outcomes.

Understanding Seawall Depth

A seawall must have the correct depth or the measurement of the portion that goes underground. It is to:

  • Ensure that the barrier does not collapse through long years
  • Prevent the soil from collapsing into the water
  • Protect the waterfront property from flooding

For example, the ideal depth makes the structure strong enough so it:

  • Won’t fall because of the pressure from the land behind it
  • Won’t collapse because of strong waves, especially during storms
  • It prevents the water from seeping under the barrier and reaching your waterfront property

A seawall with the correct depth thus is vital for the complete protection of your property, both on and under the surface.

Determining Ideal Seawall Depth

To estimate a seawall’s ideal depth, always remember that the measurements should be at least equal to its height.

So suppose you build a barrier that is three meters high from the ground. Its depth must also be three meters from the surface.

However, the structure’s distance from the shore affects its depth requirement.

Ideally, a waterfront barrier should be far enough from the shoreline to prevent structural damage because of excessive water exposure. The thing is that your property may not have enough space, so you need to place the barrier near the water.

You thus need a deeper structure in that case, as the water will likely erode the soil where the barrier stands. Erosion will eventually loosen the soil that supports the wall and cause the structure to collapse. 

A deeper wall means the structure has sufficient support against erosion because water cannot quickly move the soil deep under the ground.

Hiring a professional contractor helps you calculate the best seawall depth for your property.

What if Soil Erosion Decreases the Seawall Depth?

As mentioned above, the water can cause soil erosion which reduces the depth of a seawall as the water displaces more soil near the structure.

In this case, you may need to induce beach nourishment to maintain the waterfront barrier.

Beach nourishment involves replenishing a waterfront area with more soil, sand, and rocks to combat erosion and increase the wall depth.

You may also like to read: How do seawalls prevent erosion

Seawall Depth Requirements | Height Considerations for a Seawall

Aside from depth, you must also determine the best height for your seawall. These barriers typically measure two meters or more, depending on the ideal height requirements of a property.

To estimate the height, you must consider the local environment where you want to build a waterfront barrier. You need higher walls if strong waves are common in the area, especially during storm surges.

The thing is that your barrier shouldn’t be high enough that stormwater or rainwater cannot escape your property. So, find the correct barrier height to avoid floods caused by rainwater or the water body in front of your place.

On a side note, it is also crucial to consult your local city or county office about seawall construction height requirements. Some areas include the minimum and maximum seawall heights in their building code.

You may also call a reliable marine contractor for the correct wall height.

Ideal Seawall Thickness

A seawall needs to have the correct thickness to prevent collapse. Thick panels can withstand high pressure from the water and hold the structure’s weight.

While different materials for seawall construction have varying thicknesses, the ideal measurement is at least 5 or 6in for barriers below 9ft. Structures above 9ft should be at least 8in thick, as higher walls are heavy and need additional support.

Professional Seawall Construction Contractor for the Best Waterfront Barriers

These measurements are vital for building a seawall that will protect your property from the water and prevent the barrier from collapsing despite constant water exposure.

The thing is that these measurements are difficult to calculate as you need accurate details before starting the project.

You thus have to consult a reliable seawall construction contractor for the best outcome.


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