On the Great Lakes, high waves and splashing storm waters off the lakes are common. The other marine problem is ice shoves. Some years, the ice shoves over the banks of the Great Lakes get so bad that they literally damage the waterfront homes. If your home was damaged by either flooding waters on a lake or ice shoves in winter last year, it is time to call in a marine construction and seawall contractor. Here is how this building project will protect your home this year.
Build More Than Just a Seawall at Water Level
Water levels in any one of the five Great Lakes never stay at the same height. You need to ask your contractor to build the wall at the highest level of lake water, and then add about three or four feet in height to that. It may not look right, or it may look more like a concrete fence behind your waterfront home. However, it will keep your yard dry when the waves overflow the banks, or when the ice shoves come in winter. A higher-than-usual seawall prevents both those lake conditions from coming anywhere near your house, thus preventing damage as well.
The Fold-up Option
If you do not want a permanent, upright seawall that goes several feet above water level, consider a second option. This creates a fold-up wall that is braced from behind and which the waves and ice shoves cannot push over. When rough wave conditions subside, or the ice shove season is over, move the wall's braces out of the way and fold this wall back down on your property to create a space to sit with chairs and a table when the weather is good.
Venting the Seawall
It is important that when building up the embankment of your property on the lake that your contractor create a vented seawall. This allows the flow of water around and through the wall as it rises up around the banks. Erosion is prevented, but so are the battering effects of storm waves because the waves are channeled about the seawall structure. Additionally, the "vents" allow you to clean the seawall easier when algae and water lilies begin to grow, collect, and cling to this protective barrier. You want to keep these water weeds and mess away from the wall so that the wall can do its job during the storms and ice shoves.