Published by Aaron Presley on May 14th, 2016
project. Here's a quick look at two of the more popular types of bulkhead material to help you choose the right material for your job:
- Wooden Bulkhead Materials:
People have been using wood in marine construction projects for centuries. Today, this is still a primary material choice for its beauty, versatility, and inexpensiveness; wooden bulkhead pilings can be as much as 50 percent cheaper than vinyl and steel pilings in both installation and maintenance.
- Vinyl Bulkhead Materials:
Exciting breakthroughs in the polymer industry has lead to the engineering of attractive vinyl bulkhead materials. Vinyl sheeting has become a prime choice for seawalls and bulkheads due to its strong, weatherable design, resistance to insects and marine degradation, and low conductivity. Such low conductivity is ideal for those storing boats nearby as it won't act as a grounding element.
- Steel Bulkhead Materials:
Steel bulkheads and seawalls are incredibly durable and require no maintenance, making them a great choice for property owners who see heavy swells regularly. However, steel bulkhead materials are more expensive than other options and will eventually corrode, rusting along the high water line. For these reasons, most people nowadays are opting for the more popular wooden or vinyl bulkhead choices.
Published by Aaron Presley on July 3, 2016
Are you interested in using bulkhead materials on your next waterfront project? Here's a look at some of the most common bulkhead material and key tips for their most effective use:
- 1. Wales (or 'Waler'). Wales are specially treated timbers designed to reinforce vinyl bulkhead materials and keep them straight. You'll need to use two wales for each bulkhead; installing in front and behind. Use back wales that are twice the size of the front wale for best effect.
- 2. Tie-back systems. A tie-back system will prevent your bulkhead materials from collapsing forwards under high loads, such as storm swells. This generally consists of an anchoring feature set behind the wall and a special tie-back that attaches it to the wall. Our favorite type of anchors for this are treated wood deadmen because they're easy to install, inexpensive, and have a long lifespan.
- 3. Bulkhead top caps. Top caps are the boards that cover the top of your bulkhead materials along their entire length. They offer a little extra protection to the installed materials, but are mostly chosen for their aesthetics and activity functions. For instance, you might use a 2x15 for a top cap as a place to sit or stand while fishing or otherwise enjoying your new bulkhead.
Published by Aaron Presley on August 25th, 2015
When it comes to retaining walls, many find bulkhead materials to be a great solution.
What Are Bulkheads?
Bulkheads have a number of uses for retaining water. Such uses are for:
- Watershed retaining walls
- Mines (for containment of flooding)
With coastal bulkheads, they're normally called riptrap revetments, bulkheading or seawalls. Being man-made, their main purpose is erosion-control along shorelines. As the materials of the bulkheads vary, many often use concrete, rocks, metal or wood to combat the harsh waves. Slowing down the landslide erosion process, coastal property owners turn to bulkheads to preserve the area and control water flow.
Installing bulkheads is an easy process if you have the correct equipment.
- Clean & dry. Make sure that the bulkheads are clean and dry before installation. Avoiding thread lubricants, Teflon, or silicone is important as they cause the gasket to not seal properly or scoot out.
- File threads. Filing threads around the female and male threading helps keep the bulkhead from leaking before installation. An easy way to file would be using a pocket knife, nail file or jeweler's file to clean the excess flashing.
- Flange side, not nut side. When installing the bulkhead, make sure that it's never on the nut side. If you install a gasket next to a nut, it will lead to leaks. To prevent leaks, place the gasket on the bulkhead's flange side.
- Internal-threaded bulkheads. When cleaning internal-threaded bulkheads, it's important to remove excess flashing. You may need a lubricant for the valleys and threads of the bulkhead.
- Never use a bulkhead as support. Use weights or supports to run piping or pumps, as the bulkhead has stresses of its own to handle.
With a wide array of bulkheads and a professional staff on hand, Bayou City Lumber can help ensure that your bulkhead installation process will run smoothly and efficiently.
Published by Aaron Presley on October 14th, 2015
Waterfront property can be something of a mixed blessing. While you enjoy the beauty and benefits of living on the water, there's also a bit of required maintenance. One of most frustrating of these maintenance challenges is erosion.
The thought of your property being washed away is a sinking feeling for any homeowner. But you can circumvent nature by utilizing bulkhead material. The following are a couple tips on how to stop your lawn from going under:
- Build in autumn. This turn of the season is the preferred choice for bulkhead projects due to the end of the boating and hurricane season, and, depending on your neighborhood, many lake authorities tend to reduce water levels in the fall.
- Grab a jackhammer. Homeowners should be able to rent a jackhammer from their local hardware or rental outlet. These heavy duty tools quickly break through hard earth to make the holes necessary for your framing posts.
- Choosing the right materials. The two primary bulkhead materials to choose from are vinyl and wood. Each has its own benefits and choosing what works best for you will depend on your project.
- Vinyl - While this bulkhead material costs more upfront, it has a significantly longer lifetime. When correctly installed it can last over 50 years. It's also lightweight and doesn't absorb moisture, which means no buckling, corroding, or rotting.
- Wood - Timber is the traditional method of building bulkheads and can give your property a more aesthetically-pleasing look for a lower upfront cost. It'll last for about 25 years, but a longer lifespan can be achieved with detailed and quality workmanship and design.