According to the Detroit Free Press, rising water levels on the Great Lakes have hit records in 2020, leading to extensive flooding and unusually aggressive shoreline erosion. Many property owners and contractors in the area are now researching seawall repair methods. This type of research typically reveals three options: the common methods of excavation or repair with cement grout, and the next generation method of repair with high-strength polyurethane.
Common Seawall Repair Options
In a previous blog post, An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair, Andy Powell explained two of the most common options, along with their drawbacks...
You can tear out the wall (or part of the wall) and replace it. This approach has a few daunting downsides. Namely, it can be…
- Time consuming
- Environmentally damaging
- Requires time consuming permits
Paying for a new seawall is no doubt going to cost more than any kind of repair. A complete rebuild will also take some time. Not to mention the inevitable mess, a good portion of which is likely to end up in the water. Excavation also requires getting a permit, which can eat up a LOT of time.
Seawall Repair with Cement Grout
We still see contractors and property owners filling sinkholes and trying to plug seawall leaks concrete. This outdated approach has many disadvantages when compared to polyurethane repair. For example, it’s…
- Product, labor and machinery intensive
- Time consuming
- Prone to degradation
- Heavy (adds weight to seawall or bulkhead already under stress)
The amount of cement grout, labor and machinery required can be quite disruptive as well. Compared to the stealth, surgical approach of polyurethane repair, the property owner can end up with quite a mess on their property during a cement grout repair job. Needless to say, with all this extra material, machinery and labor – the whole process takes longer than your typical polyurethane repair. Cement grout is known to shrink and degrade over time as well. Imagine the frustration of paying for an expensive seawall repair, only to see it wash out over the next few weeks. Cement that doesn’t wash out can add weight to the structure and sink over time.
Next Generation Seawall Repair with Polyurethane
Polyurethane repair material addresses the primary weaknesses inherent in excavation and repair with cement grout. This includes minimal disruption from equipment, labor, and messy materials; plus a quick return-to-use time. Alchemy-Spetec offers high-strenth polyurethane foams for repairing seawall cracks, voids, and surrouding soil. Alchemy-Spetec seawall repair foams are also NSF-approved for contact with potable water.