Repairing Sea Walls

HMI “NEW” Hydrophobic Foams and One Part Soil Stabilizer are Ideal for Repairing Sea Walls

Paul DelFino

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Many people aspire to live on the water. Canal, lake or river front living with a boat in the backyard sounds like a dream. Although it is, like all good things there is a price. Repairing Sea Walls and the land at water’s edge is a permanent and ongoing program. Replacing a Sea Wall is “EXPENSIVE!” and many locations have limited access where the work can only be done with a barge (price x 2). Owners of waterfront need options. HMI products and your polyurethane system is a great, fast, and cost efficient alternative.

The Water You Love Is Your Worst Enemy

When you really think of it, water is the root cause of much of the concrete settlement problems with all your work. Poor drainage, voids with freezing water in winter, or countless other scenarios creating fallen or pitched concrete is what lifters and levelers address. In the case of sea walls the problem is on steroids as the concrete or stone barrier is perpetually pounded with tens of thousands of gallons or water with waves, wakes or currents. Often landslide runoff over and behind the wall has the water body reclaiming your customers property. Deterioration and the problems are often first visible as the ground caves in behind the wall and sink hole like depressions become evident.

The Root Causes and Temp Remedies

Everyone loves to blame the contractor. Yes – poor compaction when the sea wall was first put in place causes many of the problems. But Mother Nature is relentlessly pounding the wall with the result of inevitable cracks and joints openings over time. Stone sea walls are extremely vulnerable to run off erosion as gaps between stones are pathways for soil to move back to the water body. This problem is extenuated during and post storm surges where high water weakens everything and opens pathways. Property owners can try to fill the voids with any aggregate but this does not solve the root cause of the problem. Eventually the aggregate will work its way back into the body of water.

Why HMI Hydrophobic Foams (HydroFOAM) Are the Best Solution Other Then Replacement 

HMI’s “new” hydrophobic foams are not only water impervious they set up in water. By utilizing these products while deploying the “new” HMI DEEP FOAMJECTION system a contractor can inject foams behind a failed sea wall at various levels. The results will:

  • Displace standing water
  • Fill Voids
  • Fill Cracks
  • Regenerate A Water Tight Barrier

The material is Eco-friendly and presents the BEST OPTION for repair vs. high cost replacement.

Special Cases with Stone Sea Walls  

HMI’s one part SOIL STABILIZER is ideal for this challenge of stone walls. In this case voids at the edge should be filled with sand or an aggregate. Pouring on HMI’s Soil Stabilizer will create a barrier mitigating the wash out of the land mass behind your work.

In the photo below I am applying the soil stabilizer at the base of a paver walkway at the entrance to a dock ramp which was historically compromised by high tides.

The Takeaway

Waterfront property has unique problems that can be extremely expensive to repair. HMI products and systems and YOUR SKILLS are an ideal cost effective alternative from property owners who are “living the nightmare and not the dream!”

Paul DelFino is a principal of the consulting firm Opportunity Inc. For nearly two decades he has assisted entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, responding to economic downturns and merger and acquisition activity. He has consulted with HMI and RaiseRite for nearly two decades. His publications include “Avoiding Skewed Entrepreneurial Strategies” available from all on line booksellers. 

Repairing Sea Walls

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