November 29, 2022
Having a home or property on the water is an experience most people would like to have. The ability to have water access for boating, meditation, fishing, and other activities is a true gift, but it comes at a cost. Although seawalls and bulkheads exist to protect homes, structures, or resources from the impact of water, they are still susceptible to this powerful source of erosion themselves. Continuous tidal fluctuations, soil erosion, and relentlessly pounding waves cause seawalls to deteriorate and the soil to become weak and voids to form. This was the experience a homeowner was going through with their West Central Florida coastal home.
Over time, the homeowner noticed signs of deterioration in their concrete seawall. Tidal fluctuation was causing soil erosion underneath and behind the seawall. The problem signs came in the form of cracking and sinkholes forming along the wall. It was at a boat tradeshow where the homeowner identified a cost-effective repair solution with Slab Fix, LLC out of Orlando, FL who offers an innovative solution for rehabilitating seawalls and bulkheads using a specialized geotechnical polyurethane called Terra-Lok™.
Slab Fix approached the project by probing the soil along the entire 360ft, 6ft tall seawall to identify the weak soil zones. When a weak soil zone was found, Slab Fix would flag the location for treatment. After testing the soil density and identifying the void locations, Slab Fix was ready to repair the wall using the NCFI Terra-Lok™ 24-120 Single Component polyurethane.
Terra-Lok™ is a suite of single-component, low-viscosity polyurethane systems that are formulated for permeating loose soils and filling voids, making it an exceptional system for seawall rehabilitation. The Terra-Lok™ 24-120 behaves in two stages once injected. Initially, Terra-Lok™ 24-120 permeates the soil in its chemical state allowing for saturation of the chemical into voids or gaps in the weak soil. Then, when the 24-120 is exposed to the moisture content in the soil, the polymer reacts and expands up to 25 times its initial liquid volume. The result is a densified soil base and filled void areas, including cracks, crevices, and separated joints.
Using a 6ft injection rod, Slab Fix injected the Terra-Lok™ 24-120 at every weak soil point location. The 6ft rods allowed them to inject the 24-120 at the base of the seawall, and, once the injections started, the installer would pull the rod to the surface to allow Terra-Lok to permeate the entire zone from bottom to top.
“The priority of the project was to stabilize the base of the seawall using the 24-120,” stated Yasser Krayem, Owner of Slab Fix, LLC, “but with our injection approach we stabilized the weak soils, filled the voids, and sealed the joints in a single application. This will ensure the seawall is protected against future soil washout and extend its useful life for years.”
The seawall repair project was completed in a single day. The results of the project were a stabilized seawall at every weak soil point, thousands in repair cost savings, reduced the project time by weeks, and the seawall is stabilized from future deterioration.