Environmental changes have led to dramatic changes in coastlines, soil integrity, and seawall condition in many coastal areas. When you buy waterfront property with a seawall, you need to consider the importance of a seawall inspection as part of that transaction. For those who have never owned oceanfront property before, this is often a new consideration. Here are a few things to know about seawall inspections before you close on your property.
How are seawall inspections done?
When you schedule a seawall inspection, the inspection contractor will typically arrive with a full crew. The inspection crew evaluates the elevation of the seawall as well as the soil grading around it. They will test the soil for any indications of deterioration or erosion. In addition, they evaluate the depth, stability, and overall condition of the seawall.
In most instances, your seawall inspection also includes an evaluation of hydraulic pressure exposure, including an estimate of the levels of exposure. Sometimes, your inspection contractor will send a diver into the water to check below the surface for signs of wear or damage hidden by the sea levels. In many instances, erosion signs and cracks are visible underwater first. The diver also checks the footers on the seawall for overall stability.
What does a seawall inspection tell you?
After the inspection is complete, your seawall inspection contractor processes all of the information and synthesizes it into usable data to explain the condition of the wall. If you choose the same contractor that has been doing ongoing inspections of that seawall section, your contractor can even evaluate the trends in those inspections for more comprehensive future projections.
Your inspection report documents the specific details of the process, including any cracks, damage, or erosion uncovered. Further, it provides estimated lifespan predictions and recommendations for any repairs or maintenance. You might even receive photographs to illustrate damage or wear addressed in the document.
The inspection report will also include recommendations from the technician for addressing any issues uncovered. This may include specific repairs or even a recommendation to replace the wall section if it is nearing the end of its expected lifespan.
Consider the importance of seawall inspections and the value of the inspection report when you prepare to buy a waterfront property. Annual inspections will help you stay informed of any potential problems with your home's seawall that could pose safety concerns. Talk with an inspector near you today for more information about seawall inspections.