Data from the U.S. EPA and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information shows that the global sea level has risen by about eight inches since 1880 when scientific record-keeping began. However, three of those inches occurred since 1993.
With the rapid increase of land erosion and sea level rise, storm surges are a serious concern for any home or business near the ocean. While a retaining wall can help with land erosion, seawall structures and bulkheads are necessary to defend waterfront properties from sea level rise.
There are several types of seawalls to choose from for seawall construction. Which material is best? Read on to learn eight reasons why a vinyl seawall is ideal.
8 Benefits of Vinyl Seawall
1. Cost Efficient
When choosing the construction supplies you want to use for your seawall, the cost is often the first thing that comes to mind. To calculate the costs of a new seawall installation, you need to consider the following:
- Maintenance and repairs
The marine contractors are usually the most expensive component of any seawall project. However, a vinyl seawall is cost-effective because it takes less time and labor to construct compared to other seawall materials.
Plus, vinyl has lower maintenance requirements than seawall products like wood and concrete. This means the long-term cost savings are excellent.
In addition, if you ever decide to sell your property, a vinyl seawall can raise your property’s value.
2. Consistent Appearance
Wood or concrete seawall panels struggle to keep a consistent appearance. Wood naturally fades over time, and concrete is susceptible to erosion, which causes color changes. While a fresh coat of paint can fix this problem, the paint will also eventually fade. As a result, you may need to repaint the seawall yearly to keep it looking nice.
But is a consistent appearance that important?
Well, if you have a boathouse nearby, you don’t want a worn-down seawall to clash with the siding of your boathouse. Further, an ugly seawall will redirect the eye away from your beautiful landscaping.
If the seawall affects the appearance of your property, it could drive the property’s value down.
Luckily, vinyl will hold its appearance for decades, so you don’t have to worry about it fading or eroding. What’s even better is that vinyl comes in various colors and styles, making it versatile.
3. UV Resistant
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun typically cause damage to building materials, especially over extended periods. But high-quality vinyl sheet piling is designed to combat UV rays.
4. Unaffected by Marine Borers
Marine borers are invertebrates that burrow into and damage wood exposed to saltwater. The most common marine borers are crustaceans and small mollusks. If you construct a wood seawall, you will notice marine borers are immediately attracted to it.
Over time, marine borers will degrade the integrity and stability of the wood seawall, causing costly repairs. However, marine borers have no interest in vinyl seawall panels. Therefore, the use of vinyl eliminates the threat of their destruction.
5. Easy Installation
Construction supply exporting services often recommend vinyl seawall panels because they are easy to install, especially compared to wood.
Because vinyl is manufactured under strict standards, the material doesn’t face the same issues that wood might, such as warping. With no manufacturing errors, the installation process is quick and easy.
This is a huge selling point for homeowners who want their seawall project completed on time.
6. Longer Lifespan
Experts say vinyl has a lifespan of 50 years or more. On average, this is a longer lifespan than:
- Riprap (30-35 years)
- Steel-reinforced concrete (20-50 years)
- Wood (30-50 years)
Of course, some materials may last as long or longer than vinyl.
Take wood, for instance. While it can last 50 years, if it becomes infested with marine borers, you’ll need to spend a lot of money on seawall repairs and maintenance, or your seawall won’t last nearly as long. Installing a new seawall after 30 years isn’t ideal.
Now consider a steel seawall. Previously, steel sheet piles were the most common material for seawalls. But because of their heavy weight and susceptibility to corrosion, they became more expensive than vinyl. So while steel has a long lifespan, it doesn’t make financial sense for most homeowners to install it.
Since vinyl isn’t susceptible to many things that destroy other materials, it usually has the longest lifespan.
Vinyl seawall panels are incredibly durable because of their resistance to the following:
- Corrosion associated with metal and steel
- Destruction by marine borers
- Erosion associated with concrete
- Rot associated with wood
- UV rays
Because vinyl is a synthetic PVC material, it’s more durable and stronger than natural materials.
Even when you choose a vinyl seawall, you can complete the project with a concrete cap for ultimate durability. This option is hugely popular throughout the U.S. and the southern Caribbean region.
Concrete caps enclose the vinyl sheet piling to provide an extremely durable structural beam to support the seawall. In addition, they look polished and provide additional longevity.
8. Warranty Offers
As discussed, there are many ways your seawall can become damaged or weakened.
Fortunately, vinyl seawall materials typically come with an excellent manufacturer’s warranty, starting from the date of purchase. Many of these warranties last up to 50 years!
Additionally, when you hire a reputable marine construction company, you’ll likely also receive a workmanship warranty on top of that.
A warranty ensures the manufacturers and contractors can stand behind their work and correct any faults, should they occur. It’s the peace of mind you need when building a new seawall.
Export Vinyl Seawall and Other Construction Materials You Need
Building a vinyl seawall is a smart choice for homeowners. Vinyl’s durability and cost-effectiveness alone easily make it the top choice when choosing a seawall material.If you’re looking for marine construction supplies to build your seawall, get in touch with us at Harbor Exports. We offer the most trusted and reliable brands at affordable prices.
- About the Author
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Brad Enfinger has been in construction for over 20 years and has been involved with every material from concrete slab to laying the roof on houses. Brad’s diverse experience has given him the knowledge needed to assist those with shipping building materials, whether it be a house, pole barn, deck, or a dock. Brad at Harbor Exports has anything for your building material needs and can export material all over the world.