When it comes to marine construction, seawalls perform an essential function. They serve as a separation between the land and water as prevention of coastal erosion. Without seawalls, wave action and storm surges would cause damage to the coastal areas.
One of the preferred construction methods for seawalls is riprap. Such a seawall consists of an interlocking system of well-graded rocks for the barrier. According to The Balance, a riprap seawall is only suitable for slopes with a 2:1 ratio or lower. However, if the target coast fits that slope restriction, a riprap seawall can carry many benefits.
The primary goal of a seawall is to protect the coastline. However, you don't want the protection to come at the cost of aesthetics. Well, the rocks used for riprap seawalls can actually complement the look of a property. The stones work together to create a naturalistic barrier to soil erosion. Indeed, a riprap seawall tends to look professionally landscaped, which is a complement to any property.
In that vein, property owners have different choices when it comes to constructing a riprap seawall. So if you already have hardscaping on your property, you can choose stones that match or complement the existing hardscaping. For instance, you may have a flagstone path leading to the shoreline. Flagstone itself isn't ideal for a seawall, but you can choose complementary stones.
As noted, a well-constructed riprap seawall will consist of interlocking stones. One benefit of such construction is the stones can withstand the small movements that come with the soil underneath settling. As such, the stones stay in place and can even lock a little tighter. They don't fall away, so you have little maintenance. If one does fall away, it's easy to replace.
All seawall construction has its advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage of some more solid seawalls is that they deflect the waves to keep them from eroding the soil. This deflection sends the waves to other parts of the shoreline, which might succumb to erosion. Because riprap walls can withstand small movement, they actually absorb rather than deflect the waves.
Marine Life Habitat
A major benefit for riprap walls is the natural stone provides a habitat for marine life. When the tide is in, the seawall is covered with water. The small marine animals in the water can use the riprap rocks as shelter from the changing tides. They may even form a small habitat where they eat, rest, and grow. Such creatures include fish, oysters, crabs, and marine vegetation.
Protect your shoreline with a riprap or other seawall installation.
For more information about seawalls, contact a marine construction company.