Residential Seawalls; All You Need to Know


If you live on the coast, you know that you may be exposed to harsh conditions that can affect your land and the structures on it. You can help protect your property from the harmful effects of erosion by installing residential seawalls.


What Are Residential Seawalls?


Residential seawalls are walls or embankments constructed where the sea meets the land to minimize the eroding impact that waves have on the land. The seawall reduces the waves’ impact by redirecting the waves back to the sea, reducing damage and the effects of erosion over time.


Types of Residential Seawalls


Vertical Walls


As the name implies, these are upright walls, sturdy enough to deflect wave energy and protect the coastline. Piles can be installed in front of the wall to more effectively diminish the wave energy and lessen the impact of the wave. Vertical walls are fairly easy to construct residential seawalls.

Riprap Embankments


Also known as revetments, riprap embankments start with a rubble mound with the sea-facing side covered with sandbags, porous rocks, or stones. They can be made from the leftover concrete rubble from a paving or construction demolition, but are most often made of stones like granite and limestone. Riprap embankments are a cheaper option for residential seawalls, but they don’t do as well against massive, strong waves. They are best used to break up the energy of smaller waves.


Why Are Seawalls Necessary?


Seawalls protect the land from the damage of churning waves, which slowly erode the landscape or cause flooding. With enough time, unprotected landscapes and buildings can become vulnerable to collapse and erosion. A residential seawall protects your land from potential damage in the future.


They also offer defense against the waves during storms and hurricanes, minimizing the damage these unpredictable weather events can cause. A big and robust seawall can even defend against tsunamis.


Do Residential Seawalls Require Maintenance?


Yes, residential seawalls will require some maintenance. Their job is to protect the land from the harsh effects of substantial wave energy, so you can expect that they will suffer some wear and tear over time.


Vertical seawalls will need repairs to the front of the structure from time to time, and as rough materials scrape up against the side of a riprap embankment, bits of the wall will crumble away. In either case, maintenance and repairs are inevitable to maintain a high level of effectiveness and safety.


What Are Seawalls Made Of?


There are many options, depending on your area and the average power of the waves you are protecting against. Most often, you will find seawalls made out of concrete, as it offers a sturdy structure at an affordable price. However, they can also be made of wood, aluminum, fiberglass composite, or sandbags (as is the case of mound seawalls).


Living on the coast is excellent, but it requires careful preparation to ensure the longevity of your land and the structures on it. Protecting your investment with residential seawalls will safeguard against problems with land erosion. With the help of Priority Marine, proper maintenance, engineering, and construction, a residential seawall will protect your home for a very long time. Come visit us online or call us at (727) 447-1373.




Why Your Dock’s Foundation is So Important

If you’re a waterfront property owner in St. Pete, you probably know a dock’s foundation is important, but do you really know how important? Investing in an impressive dock is a surefire way to boost your property value, but proper dock construction takes real skill. Did you know that the most consequential aspect of your dock, by far, is its foundation pilings? The importance of a dock’s foundation pilings cannot be underestimated.


Foundation Pilings: How Will Your Dock Be Used?


In St. Pete, the load requirements for docks are similar to those of decks, but there are some differences related to the pilings and footers because docks are submerged in the water. When you’re planning your dock’s construction in St. Pete, consider whether or not you want to include any accessories, such as:


  • Railings
  • Benches
  • Lighting
  • Ladder
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Boat docking area


Any of the above will influence your choices for your dock’s foundation pilings.


Function and Importance of a Strong Foundation


A foundation is intended to provide structural support for all types of construction projects. A foundation’s function is to transfer some of the structure’s full load down into the soil and rock layers underground. Factors that affect the load-bearing capacity of a structure’s foundation include:


  • Ground condition
  • Characteristics of the structure
  • Quality of materials used to set the foundation
  • The proximity of nearby structures
  • Noise level and vibration in the area
  • Presence of water or other elements
  • Overall construction budget


Piled foundations—also known as deep-set foundations—are made of concrete, steel, or timber formed into long columns and driven deep into the ground. A piled foundation is typically driven to a depth of three times its breadth. This type of foundation is vital for a St. Pete dock because its foundation sits in water; the surrounding soil will not be able to prevent excessive settlement without deep-set driven foundation pilings.


Create a Strong Foundation


Foundation pilings are considered one of the best engineering solutions available in St. Pete. Advantages include:


  • Cost-effective
  • Exceptionally strong and reliable
  • The wide range of materials available allows for various specifications for structural strength
  • The relative ease of installation as the soil surrounding them is displaced (unlike other driven foundations that require manual removal of the soil before installation)


To ensure you get many years of enjoyment out of your St. Pete dock, the integrity of its foundation pilings is crucial. Three critical steps will help protect your investment:


  • Prevent rot: If you choose timber pilings, have them coated with wood rot prevention chemicals before installation.


  • Create a water barrier: A protective barrier should be applied to your foundation pilings to prevent gradual water damage. Pile sleeves are available for this purpose.


  • Protect the above-water portion of your foundation pilings: Piling caps will prevent undue exposure to inclement weather and the sun’s UV light.


St. Pete Dock Foundation Pilings Specialists


The Florida dock foundation pilings specialists at Priority Marine will help you make the most out of your St. Pete dock investment. Call today at 727-447-1373.


Look Out for These Signs of Trouble

To do their job effectively, seawalls in the Clearwater area must be constructed to withstand extremely harsh conditions. The violent storms in our region subject seawalls to the corrosive effects of high winds mixed with salt water, a harrowing combination.


If your seawall wasn’t built to accommodate the Clearwater climate, it can’t provide your property with lasting protection when it comes to preventing your soil from eroding into the water. Not only are seawalls a vital source of protection for the integrity of your shoreline, but they also serve an important safety function, helping to keep your property secure. A strong seawall is essential to protect against coastal erosion.


A Clearwater professional marine contractor can help you to identify any potential problems with your seawall and assess the severity of any issues to determine whether or not repairs are required. Many issues can be prevented from worsening if caught in time. We can take care of deterioration with proactive care and preventative maintenance.


Seawalls: Signs of Trouble to Look For


Without a strong seawall to combat coastal erosion, you run the risk of significant land loss, flooding, and destruction of your property’s infrastructure. Energetic waves threaten your land when crashing against your banks, while tides may have a more gradual effect.


Be vigilant in checking for the slightest signs of damage so that you can take early action. Seawalls can fail and even collapse entirely when proper maintenance is neglected, or damage goes unnoticed and has a chance to take hold.


Five potential problems with Clearwater seawalls to always be on the lookout for are:


  • Rust: If water is finding its way inside your seawall, it can cause the structural rebar to rust. Rust-colored streaks anywhere on your seawall can be an indication of a leak.


  • Cracks: Cracks are a fairly obvious sign of trouble. Even a tiny crack is a definite indication that the integrity of your seawall is compromised. Water will enter through even the smallest crack, causing deterioration of the seawall’s materials.


  • Swelling: Some seawalls are made from materials that will swell when water finds its way into places it shouldn’t be. This indicates a leak that needs to be investigated.


  • Leaning or bowing: When seawalls start to lean or bow, it is usually not long before the shifting causes cracks to develop. The motion of this type can allow water to get in behind the seawall, which can lead to voids forming.


  • Misalignment or outward movement: When seawalls move, it’s usually the result of aging. As is the case with leaning or bowing, a misaligned seawall can no longer be relied upon to provide your property with adequate protection from erosion.


Marine Contractor Specializing in Clearwater Seawalls


The Clearwater, Florida marine contractors at Priority Marine specialize in high-quality seawalls. We design and build seawalls guaranteed to stand up to Clearwater’s harsh conditions. If you have questions about the condition of your current seawall or would like to arrange for a professional evaluation, contact Priority Marine today at 727-447-1373.


Do I Need a Professional Seawall Contractor?

Your love of marine activities, such as boating and fishing, has led you to obtain your own piece of the St. Petersburg shoreline. Your investment in a lifestyle along the coastline should be protected from the damaging effects of soil erosion and flooding with the help of a professionally constructed and installed seawall. Before taking the plunge into finding a seawall contractor in St. Petersburg that will implement the right marine structure for your needs, here’s a little information to ensure you are confident in your decision to hire a professional.


What is a Seawall and Why Do I Need It?

Seawalls can take on various physical forms, such as vertical or sloped walls, and are made of various materials. Despite these varying forms, every seawall performs the same function: protect the shoreline from erosion, thereby protecting your property and acting as a defense against flooding.


A seawall contractor implements marine structures that fix and solidify the boundary between sea and land, providing increased security to your St. Petersburg shoreline and the assets that rest upon it, such as your vacation home or commercial property.


What Purpose Does a Seawall Contractor Serve?

Professionals implement the engineered structures that prevent further erosion to the delicate shoreline. Though there are instances where amateur walls have been constructed, a professional contractor in St. Petersburg will have much more effective techniques, tools, and strategies to prevent shoreline erosion and flood damage.


The reason why a seawall contractor is more effective than a DIY approach is that makeshift seawalls are often not strong enough to withstand the force of extreme events that are common in the St. Petersburg area. With heavy storms or even a hurricane, these walls end up washed away, and your property is vulnerable.

Professional builders provide technical guidance that adds to the strength and integrity of your shoreline structure, leading to the long-lasting preservation of your St. Petersburg investment.


Though there are many materials to choose from, not all materials are right for your particular property. A seawall contractor can also ensure that your structure meets and exceeds the codes specific to the laws within St. Petersburg. If selected, installed, and maintained properly, a seawall can last from 30 to 50 years,


Finding the Right Seawall Contractor

A seawall can increase the waterside curb appeal of your home, both aesthetically and structurally, especially if the seawall is selected with your exact needs in mind. Priority Marine offers custom seawall design without exceeding your budget and ensuring an unmatched level of satisfaction.


High-quality seawall construction is valuable for both commercial and residential shoreline protection. Priority Marine is a professional seawall contractor that serves the St. Petersburg area, offering top-notch shoreline protection that will preserve your marine properties and waterside lifestyle for years to come. Learn more about protecting your home and property by contacting the professional seawall contractors in St. Petersburg at Priority Marine at 727-447-1373 or online.


The Pros and Cons of Rip Rap Seawalls

There are many different materials one can use to build a seawall, including vinyl, wood, concrete, and rip rap. Rip rap seawalls go by many other names, including shot rock, rubble, and rock armor. Regardless of the name, the walls use piles of rocks, rubble, boulders or other similar materials to protect the shoreline from water erosion. This is an effective option for safeguarding the shoreline in St. Petersburg, so what are the pros and cons of this type of wall?

The Pros of Rip Rap Seawalls

One of the main reasons that people choose rip rap seawalls is because they are one of the cheapest options available. It uses organic materials like boulders, rocks, stones, which are all naturally-occurring. Therefore, they are low on cost, and are simple to maintain. For maintenance, all you have to do is restack the piles if any rocks become scattered, and occasionally add to the pile to top it off. The organic materials can even help promote the regrowth of vegetation destroyed by erosion.

Another pro is that the rocks, stones, and other materials that these walls consist of provide a natural, organic look and feel. This makes them perfect for commercial and residential landowners who want to blend in with the surrounding environment and not detract from the natural beauty of St. Petersburg. In fact, that is another reason why people choose rip rap: it acts as a structure where local wildlife can hide, rest, eat, and thrive. Vertical walls made of materials like wood or vinyl don’t allow for vegetation and marine life to grow. However, the lower-profile stones and rocks do.

The Cons of Rip Rap Seawalls

Not every property in St. Petersburg is the right fit for rip rap seawalls. These walls are not the best option for shorelines that see a lot of erosion and weathering, whether from water or the weather. While not necessarily a con, some people choose other options like vinyl or concrete because they are sturdier and can stand up to hurricane-force weather. Plus, others may prefer the neat look of vinyl walls over the more natural, loose appearance of rip rap piles.

Rip rap also will not prevent adjacent land runoff. It also will not protect against flooding since the rocks don’t absorb water.

Choose a Professional for Rip Rap Seawall Installation

If you believe rip rap seawalls are a good fit for your residential or commercial property in St. Petersburg, consult with a professional marine contractor for installation. Priority Marine is a trusted marine construction company in Tampa Bay that builds high-quality, long-lasting seawalls. Call them today at (727) 447-1373 or contact them online to discuss your project.

How to Maintain Vinyl Seawalls

Vinyl is a long-lasting, sturdy, and easy-to-maintain material for seawall construction. However, even vinyl seawalls need maintenance to last as long as possible. The weather in St. Petersburg can give walls a beating, so maintenance is important for longevity. No matter how strong your structures are, water will slowly deteriorate them. No material is a perfect solution, but some are more resistant than others. Even extremely durable plastics like vinyl are not immune though they do last much longer.

1. Wash and Clean Vinyl Seawalls Regularly

Washing and cleaning vinyl seawalls is an easy way to keep them clear of debris and materials that can cause them to deteriorate faster. This material is affordable and durable, which makes it perfect for outdoor spaces. However, cleaning is necessary. Homeowners in St. Petersburg can use a simple cleaning solution such as oxygen bleach with oxygen ions that lift and eliminate dirt and stains for a clean surface free of residues. This will add life to your structure and its finish.

Not cleaning your seawall will lead to the rapid growth of microorganisms. The more that attach themselves to cracks and parts of the structure, the easier it is for them to rapidly reproduce. This is particularly important in Summer and Spring. St. Petersburg typically experiences more rain and hotter temperatures during these times. Within recent months, dangerous blue-green algae have been spotted in waters around counties near St. Petersburg. The algae, known as Lyngbya, is an invasive plant species that can wreak havoc against animal life and water structures. The most dangerous aspect of the algae is that is can make recreational waters toxic for swimmers. Keeping your vinyl seawall clean can help reduce the growth of microorganism and wall deterioration.

2. Remove Growth Around the Seawall

Marine life in St. Petersburg tends to grow wherever it can, and vinyl seawalls are no exception. Algae, plants, and other vegetation crops up around walls because they have a physical barrier from the elements along with free access to water and sunlight. However, plants can take root that can lead to cracks or uneven surfaces, so it’s best to remove them whenever they grow too large. Pruning the plant life around your wall can help maintain its structural integrity.

Algae and other invasive vegetation can also grow underwater. For example, Lyngbya can form into meters thick mats before rising up to the surface. This means that those not paying attention to their vinyl seawall can end up completely missing algae growth until the damage is already done. Concrete seawalls are more at risk for damage due to microorganism growth but even plastics will deteriorate in the ocean. In recent years, scientists has found evidence of plastic-eating bacterium that can slowly destroy materials like vinyl.

3. Visually Inspect Your Wall on a Routine Basis

Perhaps one of the most important and effective ways to maintain the longevity of your wall is to regularly perform inspections. During an inspection, look out for any sign of disrepair such as cracks, holes, warping, or rusting. If you notice anything off, contact a marine contractor in St. Petersburg for repairs for vinyl seawalls. Visual inspections can help prevent any problems from becoming the downfall of your wall.

You should also make sure to pay close attention to the condition of your water. Changes in color or the development of a film on top of the water is not a great sign. While this could have little to do with your vinyl seawall, it could also be the result of deterioration.

Vinyl Seawalls, Repairs, Maintenance, and Marine Construction

If you are careful to wash and clean your wall, remove the growth, and perform visual inspections regularly, your vinyl seawall should have the maintenance it needs for long life. For a marine contractor in the St. Petersburg area who can assist if your wall needs repairs, choose Priority Marine. Call them today at (727) 447-1373 or contact them online to learn more about their services.

Why is Hiring a Seawall Construction Company Important?

Working with a proper seawall construction company is essential for any home on the coasts of St. Petersburg. In the past, marine barriers were less effective as the effects on sediment were less understood. Companies like Priority Marine provide higher-quality results by using better engineering practice and materials. Many studies find that concrete walls with no reinforcement are more likely to crack. Walls can also shift and fall into the water without proper protection and materials like vinyl, composite, or aluminum panels. Different materials offer various benefits like cheaper pricing but may not be as durable. Certain materials like vinyl are long-lasting, but nowhere near as strong as aluminum. Deciding on the right construction materials and design is only possible with professional guidance. Your coastal barrier will provide vital benefits like:

  • Protection from shore pollutants
  • Easy access to boats
  • An aesthetically pleasing addition to any property

Protection from Shore Pollutants

A serious issue with shorelines around St. Petersburg is contamination. Chemicals from your lawn or construction can run off into the water without a barrier built by a seawall construction company. There is also the case of pollutants coming from the sea along with microorganisms. Algae growth like red tide occurs due to a high concentration of contaminants. Many organisms can use debris and chemicals as food in ways fish and other aquatic life cannot. They can also bloom, depriving water of oxygen and leading to large quantities of dead fish.

Easy Access to Boats and Recreational Activities

Seawalls provide homeowners with significant quality of life improvements like easy access to boats and docks. Keeping your family safe means more than just blocking waves. After a storm, the ground near the water can become soft and muddy. Individuals can accidentally fall into the water due to losing their footing. Falling into the ocean may be a nuisance for some. However, rocks and equipment in the water can cause serious injuries.

Long-lasting and Great Looking

Investing in the services of a seawall construction company can raise the price of your property as well as improve appearance. Jagged shores with sheer drop-offs look unsafe and unsightly. St. Petersburg residents can invest in their property and give their barriers a great look. Clients have access to dozens of panel options and other services.

Improve Your Coastal Property Today with a Seawall Construction Company

With Priority Marine, home and commercial property owners can ensure they get the best result for their marine building. Besides seawalls, clients can invest in numerous services like boat dock and lift building. Improper installation of docks onto walls can result in accidents or damage to your boat. St. Petersburg residents can contact them online or call (727) 447-1373 today to work with a professional seawall construction company.