How to Build a Seawall

Climate change is happening and anyone who owns waterfront property knows the damage that erosion from storm surges can cause. Building a seawall is an investment of a lot of physical labor but is not difficult using the proper power tools. You will need the following tools and materials:

  • Jackhammer (rental)
  • Reciprocating saw
  • 3” metal pipe about four feet long
  • Ready mix concrete
  • ½” threaded rebar
  • 2” x10” lumber
  • Galvanized nuts and washers
  • Silicone sealant.

 How to Build a Seawall

Step One:

Check your building codes and obtain a permit to build your seawall. Some jurisdictions require inspections both before and after you begin work so know what is required of you before you start construction. Purchase/rent your supplies and tools. Read these instructions carefully and lay everything out in the order that you will be using it.

Step Two:

Now take your rebar and pipe to a professional welder and have them bend the rebar into a U-shape, weld the bottom of the U to the pipe. You will require four pieces of rebar welded to each pipe. This part is used to hold the seawall to the pipe.

Step Three:

Now you need to mark exactly where you want to install the posts, marking out 8´increments. Dig your holes and place the posts in the holes with the rebar pointing towards the water. Make sure to keep the top of the posts level with each other. Add you concrete and allow setting or at least 24 hours.

Step Four:

Using your saw, cut the lumber to fit each post, drill holes, and slips the lumber on to each post, bending the rebar to make it fit. Attach you work with washers and nuts and use the reciprocating saw to trim off excess rebar. Seal off the ends of the rebar with silicone.

Step Five:

The last step is to fill the land side of the seawall with large rocks, sand and topsoil, in that order. Make sure to build up the water side with a rip trap to prevent erosion.

Now you have built a barrier between your home and the sea, protecting your investment as well as your piece of mind.

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