Building a seawall requires a lot of considerations to create a structure that can withstand
harsh natural elements for many years.
One of the most crucial factors is selecting the best material for the structure. It should be
durable, affordable, and befitting your waterfront property's particular needs.
Thus, you wonder what the best seawall materials are and how to select one for your
Here’s a quick guide to remember before starting your marine construction project.
Best Seawall Building Materials for Your Waterfront Property
There´s a wide range of different materials used for marine barrier construction. However,
these are the best and most commonly used options by seawall and dock builders:
Wood is a popular marine construction material as it is relatively easier to install and has a
majestic but natural appearance.
However, you must select a hardwood type that could last long and coat it with appropriate
treatment that won't harm the marine ecosystem. Also, remember that wood rots faster in
saltwater, making them inappropriate for beachfront structures.
Moreover, wood requires intensive maintenance and repairs, especially when constantly
exposed to strong waves.
Metals, particularly steel and aluminum, are excellent for waterfront barriers as they can
withstand harsh elements for decades. They are also cheaper than other materials and
require fewer repairs.
You only have to regularly clean and maintain the structure to prevent corrosion.
Concrete is perhaps one of the most durable and strongest options to consider. You can
even select steel-reinforced concrete for a more durable structure.
Properly installed concrete barriers can last for many decades with minimum maintenance
and repairs. Professionals can also customize a concrete barrier’s appearance to match
your preference and property themes.
4. Large Rocks
You may also choose large rocks to build a riprap seawall. A riprap seawall is a waterfront
barrier made of interlocked huge stones that is almost impossible to move without
professional machinery. It´s thus probably the most durable option with a natural design
suitable for a waterfront area.
However, you need professional seawall and Dock builders to cut the rocks accurately and
set the riprap barrier. You should also be able to afford a riprap seawall because it's one of
the most expensive options.
Vinyl is a popular option for waterfront barriers as it features impressive and customizable
colors and designs. It's also one of the most durable materials that can last for many years.
Just remember that vinyl isn't as strong as other materials. While they don't rust or rot, they
can´t withstand strong waves, especially from storm surges. Moreover, composite materials
like vinyl are only suitable for a small barrier as they aren´t strong enough to support a large
Considerations When Choosing Seawall Construction Materials
Now, consider these factors when selecting waterfront barrier materials:
1. Water Body in the Area
Various water types cause different effects on particular materials. Wood, for example, rots
faster in saltwater than in freshwater, and certain marine organisms may bore holes through
So, select a material that can withstand the water type and marine ecosystem in your area.
This is the accessibility of your place for a particular marine barrier installation.
For example, suppose you have a small property where it's difficult to take and use heavy
machinery for building steel or riprap barriers. In this case, consider using materials suitable
for small spaces, like vinyl and poured concrete.
3. Structure Size
Consider the barrier size because you need more robust materials for larger structures. For
example, choose steel or concrete for a large seawall, as vinyl isn't strong enough.
4. Weather Conditions
Select more durable materials if your area frequently experiences harsh weather conditions
like storm surges and extreme heat. Avoid using wood or vinyl in those situations; unless
you first apply sufficient protective coating or sleeves.
5. Construction Cost
Some materials are more expensive than others, especially if they require professional
installation. You may thus have to select the best but most affordable option according to
However, don´t just choose a cheap material to avoid having a poor-quality barrier. While
you can save at first, it would require significant expenses for repairs.
Consult Professional Seawall and Dock Builders for the Best Seawall Materials
You want to build a high-quality seawall that will last for a long time on your waterfront
property. So, you must select suitable materials before starting the project to get the best
And remember to consult professional seawall and Dock builders to know the best options
for your project.