DIY Concrete Seawall Repair Tips

Seawalls are essential constructions placed along lake and ocean shorelines to help reduce erosion where roads and homes sit close to the shore. If you have a lake waterfront property, then you will need to inspect the seawall construction for wear and tear. If you notice small cracks and voids in the concrete, then you can make some minor repairs yourself. If you feel confident about doing this, then learn about some tips that will assist you. 

Wait Until The Fall

If you want to make a lasting repair where all cracks and openings are filled in along the seawall and the seawall cap, then you should wait until the water level is as low as possible. This will allow you to make repairs low across the wall, and materials will have the opportunity to set properly. Also, pressure will be reduced along the structure when the water is low so that new cracks do not form soon after repairs are made. 

Lakes do not have traditional tides like oceans do, but water levels will fluctuate depending on the seasons in the area. Lakes have annual highs and lows, and water levels will be the highest in the spring and the lowest during the winter. However, you do not want to make repairs during the winter months, or heating blankets will be needed to keep the concrete warm enough so that it cures properly.

This means that a repair during late autumn is best. If you choose to make the repair during the months of October or November, then make sure that temperatures are well above freezing for the day and evening. If you want the concrete repairs to be as strong as possible, then choose a week during the fall when temperatures remain at or above 45 degrees Fahrenheit for a few days. Looking at historical weather data for your area can help you with planning the right time period for the repairs. Dry days are best as well, so consider the humidity levels and precipitation when investigating historical weather data. 

Use The Right Materials

The right materials for your repair are essential to the success of the fix. Crack repairs can and should be performed with hydraulic cement. This material is typically used to make repairs in swimming pools, foundations, and fountains that come into contact with water. Hydraulic cement is similar to mortar and acts like a glue to seal in cracks in the seawall. You will need to work quickly when using hydraulic cement, because the material will start to harden within 10 or 15 minutes. However, this does not mean that it will be fully cured afterwards. The material will need a few days to harden. Before working with the material, you will also need to clean the repair area fully with soap and water and use water to dampen it as well.

Hydraulic cement is needed to repair the cracks in the wall. However, you will need to consider the general strength and integrity of the structure as well. Typical seawall cracks and voids will allow soil to be washed away from around the back of the wall. This soil will need to be replaced so the wall can remain upright. You can replace the soil with clean fill dirt, or you can speak with a seawall specialist about the addition of soil injected with a resin material. This will create a more solid structure around the seawall so that erosion cannot occur if new cracks and voids form in the future.

The seawall along your waterfront property helps to reduce erosion concerns so the waterline does not move closer to your home. Sometimes fixes will need to be made across the seawall. If you decide to make the repairs yourself, then you should wait until the fall and make sure that you use the right materials.  If you still have questions, you can click here for more info, or you can contact a local marine construction company.