September 15

Pros and Cons of Seawall Repair Methods


Seawalls are one of the most crucial aspects of owning a lakefront property, and there are 2 types of seawall repair methods you need to be aware of. Seawalls are designed to prevent flooding and shoreline erosion. Seawalls prevent the gradual loss of land and create a much more stable and usable shoreline. 

Your seawall must withstand the roughest conditions on the Lake of the Ozarks. Commonly made from concrete, seawalls are susceptible to cracking. As lake levels rise and fall, water pushes through cracks, joints, or defects in seawalls. That inflow and outflow of water during high and low tides or lake level changes causes soil to loosen and wash out. 

Heavy rains, tidal movements, poor irrigation, and water runoff can compound soil erosion, creating the need for repairs or, in some cases, a complete seawall replacement. Failing seawalls can pose a serious threat to nearby structures once the erosion cycle begins.

Seawall Repair

Seawall repairs are a common concern faced by lakefront property owners. No matter how well-engineered, eventually, all seawalls will face erosion and weathering and require repairs. Seawalls in need of repair can threaten nearby buildings and structures once erosion begins. Lakefront property owners should regularly inspect their seawalls for signs of damage or erosion. 

Warning Signs of Seawall Damage or Erosion

Replacing a deteriorating seawall is an expensive project. Seawall problems can often be repaired before they become major issues requiring a total replacement. Waterfront property owners should watch for the following warning signs:


Constant exposure to the elements can corrode the steel used to reinforce a concrete seawall cap. The movement of seawall panels can aggravate the condition, causing significant cracks to develop on caps. Cracks in seawall panels or caps should be inspected by a professional.

Bowing or Leaning

If your seawall begins to bow or lean towards the water, it could mean that your tie-backs have corroded or that your seawall has erosion occurring underwater. 

Voids Near the Seawall

If the ground near your seawall seems to have pulled away, leaving a gap, this could be a sign of problems developing. Changes in the soil behind or in close proximity to your seawall should be investigated and resolved.


Sinkholes can be obvious, but sometimes they are hidden by landscaping. Any sunken areas on your property, especially near your seawall, need immediate attention.

Structural Damage Away From the Seawall

Cracks or settling in adjoining concrete sidewalks, walkways, patios, or pool decks are often the result of seawall erosion. 

Traditional Seawall Repair Methods

Traditional cement grouting repair methods can negatively impact landscaping, decks, and pool areas. In addition, there’s often heavy equipment on your property for weeks.

  • Concrete grout increases the pressure and weight behind a seawall structure, which increases the risk of the wall cracking or failing. 
  • Cement grouting requires a significant amount of heavy equipment and labor, negatively impacting property and landscaping, and driving up costs.
  • Contraction and shrinking are common problems related to cement grouting repairs.

Polyurethane Seawall Repairs

Using modern and superior polyurethane foam eliminates the problems associated with concrete grout repairs while delivering a permanent solution to alleviate seawall cracks and erosion. Polyurethane foam sealant avoids the disadvantages of using the traditional and outdated technique of cement grouting.

  • No large equipment is required, so polyurethane repairs pose a minimum disruption to both landscaping and hardscape surfaces. 
  • Most repairs are completed within hours instead of days or weeks.
  • The cost of polyurethane repairs is typically less than half the cost of a complete replacement and can double the life of your seawall.
  • Polyurethane repairs are eco-friendly.

Catching Problems Early Saves Time and Money

Minor problems can turn into expensive issues if not addressed quickly. Regularly inspecting your seawall to identify potential problems is a good idea. Catching the early signs of bowing, cracking, or soil erosion will make repairs easier and less costly. 

Luckily, many seawall problems can be resolved before they worsen by applying polyurethane foam to seal leaks, fill voids, and stabilize the surrounding soils. If your seawall appears to be compromised, contact a seawall repair company for a professional inspection. 

Why Choose RT Construction for Seawall Repair?

RT Construction has partnered with the Alchemy-Spetec network to protect residential and commercial properties from loss and damage at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our seawall repair method uses polyurethane foams that react with moisture and expand to fill voids while they permeate the soil to form a solid, strong, watertight mass to repair seawalls. These polyurethane foams seal cracks and defects, fill gaps, and stabilize the soil. Most of our repairs can be completed in less than a day.

RT Construction has completed residential and commercial projects in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, all with the same high level of precision and quality. With over 25 years of experience, we take pride in our work, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are licensed, insured, and bonded for your protection.

If your Lake of the Ozarks property needs seawall repair services, call us at 636-317-5636 to schedule an inspection and free estimate.


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