Why Should I Use Vinyl On My Bulkhead / Seawall Construction?

Bulkheads, also known as Seawalls, separate and protects New Jersey waterfront properties from erosion. They provide you with a safe place to access the water via piers and docks . At Ace Marine Construction; we are frequently asked the question “what material should I use to build my new bulkhead?”

There are many different materials that Bulkheads and Seawalls are made of and at the Jersey Shore the most common is wood and vinyl. New bulkheads and refacing material is now predominantly made from vinyl. Vinyl Bulkhead material is excellent because it has a very long life expectancy without the problems associated with wood. Vinyl sheets typically last more than 50 years. Some of the wood components may need to be replaced during that time, but you won’t have to worry about the additional material and labor expenses of replacing the vinyl sheet pilings.

Wood bulkheads have the least expensive up-front costs. They are effective and give your waterfront a somewhat natural look.They are treated to stand up to the elements, are effective against the water and give your waterfront a natural look. Since the wood is treated with various chemicals to deter wood boring creatures from munching on the lumber, many people are concerned about the leaching of dangerous toxins into the both salt and fresh water ecosystems.

Treated wood is also susceptible to warping and cracking over time. If you look around you will see plenty of CCA (treated  Wood) bulkheads still holding up after many years, but during it’s life you will have to replace any portions that have been weakened by the elements or wood borers. The average life expectancy of a timber bulkhead is 25 years. Property location, wave exposure, wind exposure, and current are all factors that determine the longevity of a timber Bulkhead.

Going forward into 2017 we will focusing on offering complete waterfront restoration. One of the most versatile longest lasting options is  a vinyl seawall/bulkhead. Vinyl and composite sheet piles last forever, look good, are easily installed and most often times are the most economical approach.

The most important consideration in the last twenty years is the material used to construct your wall. Vinyl sheet piling and composite sheet piling seem to be the wave of the present and the future, but has an bigger up-front cost and with great looks that appeal to many. If you prefer a more traditional look a wood retaining wall may be the right option for you. Built with the highest available pressure treated timbers, wood walls will give you the right protection and security combined with the “old fashioned” aesthetics you require. Wood has a lower upfront cost, for most it all comes down to dollars and cents.

  • Don’t think you can use composite? There are numerous ways to make composite and vinyl work at your location. We can even drill into bedrock and reinforce the sheets with an epoxy coated steel structure.

  • Is ice build up a concern? Let us show you a heavy-duty fiberglass reinforced composite option. 

  • Vinyl bulkheads also make GREAT retaining walls for both residential and commercial applications.