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QUESTION:We have an aging seawall at our property, what is the typical useful life of a concrete seawall?

Thanks to Mr. Kyle Jameson of Pelican Point West for posting this

ANSWER: Contributed by Matt Nolton, CEO, Pe.E, C.B.I.E.

The simple answer to what is the typical useful life of a concrete seawall is 50 years. We design seawalls with a 50-year timeframe in mind.

Now with that being said there are certainly seawalls all over the United states in salt water environments that have had significantly shorter and longer useful lives.

Several factors influence the life of a concrete seawall, the makeup of the concrete used to cast the panels, the size and thickness of the panels, the embedment of the panels, specifics related to the environment the panels are installed in, and most significantly the maintenance that has been performed on the seawall during its life.

It is fair to state that unless it has already been replaced, all of the seawalls in our Southwest Florida area are nearing the 40 to 50 year age mark.

We have inspected hundreds of our local seawalls and find many with just a little maintenance will have a remaining useful life of 10 years or more.

We also find local walls where the amount of maintenance required to strengthen the wall so that it can last another 5 to 10 years is not economically the correct decision.

It is our opinion the true answer to the remaining useful life of a seawall is all about economics.

The correct option for one seawall owner is not always the correct answer for another owner. We inspect the wall, listen to our client's situation, and then provide options for maintenance and replacement of the wall with the economic impacts and life expectancy estimates.

Thank you for all the questions, keep them coming on any hot topic that concerns you!!!

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