Published by Bayou City Lumber on June 15, 2016
A decade ago, vinyl bulkhead materials were considered too thin for most seawall projects. However, since that time there have been major overhauls in the design and manufacture of vinyl bulkhead materials. Vinyl bulkhead materials have improved in strength, thickness, shape, and resistance power which makes them the superior choice from durability and ease of installation.
But before you install vinyl bulkhead materials, consider these tips:
- Permit-first. Begin this project by creating a detailed plan and blueprint of the proposed seawall. You can then go through the permitting process with your local municipality yourself, or work with a seawall construction firm.
- Rent a pump… Use a trash or similar-style pump system during installation to suck water from the immediate waterfront, giving you room to operate.
- Rent an auger or jackhammer. This equipment will enable you to quickly and efficiently dig appropriately-sized holes for the pilings.
- Half-in and half-out. Measure and cut vinyl bulkhead material according to the installation rule of thumb: “half-in and half-out”. For instance, a 10ft bulkhead above ground will require 10ft below ground.
- No hammers. Never hammer vinyl bulkhead materials into place as it can damage the material’s long-term durability. Instead, slowly push it into place.
Published by Aaron Presley on October 3rd, 2015
Vinyl bulkheads are an excellent way to stop erosion while also adding a touch of visual beauty to a property. Sheets made from vinyl bulkhead material have quickly surpassed traditionally used materials due to their lower cost, resistance to UV rays, and resistance to marine borers that feed on other materials. Plus, vinyl bulkheads are much easier to install thanks to their uniformity.
But before you begin your own vinyl bulkhead installation project, consider the following tips:
- Getting the appropriate length. The vinyl bulkhead material can be cut according to your desired length. As a good rule of thumb, you’ll want as much of the sheet length underground as above. For example, a 14-ft. cut sheet should be installed so that approximately 7 ft. is in the ground and 7 ft. is exposed above. If you have poor soil and are already experiencing extreme erosion, you may consider putting more of the vinyl material below ground.
- Dig and frame. Use a jackhammer or an auger to dig holes into the ground for the piling framework. Use 2×6 treated timber boards for backfill and to act as a guide so you can install the vinyl sheets straight and even.
- Use nearby sand to your advantage. If you’re installing in sand you can use a trash pump to suck water from the adjacent waterway and blow it out the other end of a firehouse aimed at your work area. This water pressure will jet the sand out of your way and allow the vinyl bulkhead sheets to slide right into place.