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.