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How Can Alpha Foundations Help My Failing Seawall?


Failing seawall in Miami, Florida could be fixed by Alpha Foundations

Florida has lots of great waterfront property. A well-constructed seawall is a major tool in keeping your property safe from erosion caused by tidal swings and battering storms. While your seawall keeps the force and pressure of the tides from damaging your property, those same tides have been damaging your seawall.

This damage is often hard to see unless you know what you’re looking for. Repairing a seawall is crucial to keeping your property safe from sinkholes and other hazards, as well as retaining the value of your property.

Signs Your Seawall Is Failing

Considering the vital role your seawall plays in the value and safety of your property, you must inspect your seawall regularly for signs of deterioration. Some of the signs that indicate your seawall is failing include:

  • Your yard has sunken in the area near the seawall, or holes have appeared along the side of the seawall that look like a small, burrowing animal made them.
  • There is cracking or chipping along the seawall cap. While it is normal for concrete structures to develop hairline cracks due to temperature and moisture fluctuations, widening cracks – particularly just below the cap – indicate deterioration.
  • The seawall is leaning. Seawalls that lean from the top suggest a drainage issue on the soil side of the wall. Conversely, walls leaning on the bottom suggest a loss of the front berm beneath the waterline.
  • A different colored soil is forming at the base of your seawall seams. This is often caused by rust stains from degrading steel anchor rods, which can occur due to exposure to excessive moisture.

Options for Repairing a Failing Seawall

Traditionally, homeowners have had two options for repairing a seawall. They could tear the existing wall down and replace it with a new one or repair the existing seawall, including reinforcements, to ensure it is structurally sound.

Neither of these techniques is very cost-effective or time-friendly. That’s why the techs at Alpha Foundations are trained to provide a third alternative: Helical tiebacks, also known as wall anchors.

Replacing the Seawall

Many contractors will recommend replacing the seawall, particularly if you’re considering selling your home in the near future and want the increased property value. However, replacing the wall can often take time and require loud machinery. In addition, the price of replacing a seawall is off-putting for many people.

Repairing and Reinforcing the Existing Seawall

Another common way to deal with a failing seawall is to have a contractor excavate behind the wall and then reinforce the wall to prevent it from failing. While this can let you keep the existing wall, you often must endure the same amount of time, noise, and expense as you would when replacing the wall.

Helical Tiebacks

Helical tiebacks, also known as wall anchors, are a popular new technique for repairing failing seawalls. These products borrow from decades of similar use by utility companies. It involves a long, screw-like rod that is inserted through a drilled hole to anchor the wall to the soil and provide structural integrity.

Helical tiebacks have several advantages over new construction or excavation, including:

  • There is no need to pay for the expensive machinery involved in demolition and excavation.
  • Helical tiebacks are installed from the water side by drilling a hole in the wall. The helical tieback anchor is then inserted into the hole and drilled into the soil. Because the work takes place on the water side, there is less disruption to your lawn and outdoor features.
  • Once the anchors are installed, they begin working immediately. You don’t need to wait for grout to cure.
  • The tiebacks are engineered to work in any soil and can be used as a temporary solution or permanent repair. They’re a flexible option with changing soil conditions.
  • Helical tiebacks can be installed in tight areas where heavy equipment cannot be taken.
  • Helical tiebacks can be installed quickly. Most seawall repairs using this technique are completed in less than a day.

Components of the Helical Tieback System

There are three primary components of the helical tieback system:

  • The lead: This is a threaded metal bar that looks like a massive screw. The lead varies in size, depending on the condition of the soil it is anchoring into.
  • Extensions: The extension has a coupler on one end and a receiver on the other to fit together with another extension. Or, there is a lead or end adapter used to ensure that the lead reaches the depth required based on the type of soil.
  • End adapter: This piece is like a large bolt that is connected to a steel plate or whaler beam to restrain the existing structure.

Other Uses for Helical Tiebacks

Helical tiebacks are not only a quick, cost-effective solution for failing seawalls. There are many other applications for the technique, as well, including:

  • Basement walls
  • Retaining walls
  • Shoring
  • Temporary wall support
  • Tilt-up construction

If you have noticed signs of deterioration in any type of wall, or you need the temporary support afforded by the helical tieback technique, give us a call.

Trust Alpha Foundations for Your Seawall Solution

Alpha Foundations, the largest single foundation repair company in Florida, is celebrating its 20th anniversary next year. Customer service has been the heart of our company from the beginning, and we have been recognized regionally and nationally for our commitment to quality and integrity.

The experienced foundation repair specialists at Alpha Foundations are trained in the helical tieback technique and are eager to share more about this option with you. If you have noticed signs that your seawall is failing, don’t delay.

Contact us for a free seawall inspection and estimate by calling (877) 322-3446.

Get your free estimate today

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