Posted on July 13th, 2015 by Aaron Presley
Maybe you’ve recently purchased a beautiful home on Trinity Bay, or perhaps you’re the proud owner of a business that has its property situated on the Gulf. Either way, congratulations on your achievement! Now it is time to start considering how you’re going to protect your property from things like natural erosion and rising tides. There are of course a few different measures you can take, but one of the first steps should be investing in good quality bulkhead material for a protective barrier between your property and the water. Not convinced from just that? No problem. Here are the top ten reasons why all waterfront properties should consider building bulkheads:
1. Bulkheads Can Save You Large Amounts of Money
Let’s clear one thing up first– the construction of a good property bulkhead can certainly be pricey, but in the long run it can save you copious amounts of funds. The reason behind this is of course pretty simple; the damage caused by erosion and flooding to an unprotected property can cost far more to fix than having a bulkhead in the first place.
2. Bulkheads Can Save Your Land
Because bulkheads serve as a barrier between your property and whatever body of water your property is sitting on, their main function is to help prevent erosion caused by that water. Consider, for instance, the Grand Canyon. Much of it was slowly carved by natural water erosion. While the damage erosion causes will be nowhere near this grand scale on your property, it will be very noticeable and can even slowly chip away at the amount of dry land you own. Especially where there are waves and tides, many people easily lose not inches, but entire feet of land in just a short period. Bulkheads can prevent this by retaining soil and keeping your land above water. Because no, a simple fence just isn’t going to cut it.
3. A Good Bulkhead Can Help Define Your Property
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the benefits of a good quality waterfront bulkhead is that it can outline where your property begins and ends. This, therefore, helps to prevent land disputes with neighbors. As a bonus, it also helps to prevent any erosion on their properties from carrying over to yours, and vice versa (an often costly incident).
4. A Variety of Materials Can Be Used to Construct Bulkheads
Are you worried about having an unsightly barrier on your property? This is unnecessary. You’ll have your choice of materials when it comes to bulkhead construction, whether you’re alongside saltwater or freshwater. For instance, just some of the more common materials used to construct bulkheads are pressure treated wood (the most natural-looking option), vinyl and steel. Sometimes a combination can be used, depending on your preferences. And, of course, colors can vary as well.
5. Bulkheads Can Be More Scenic and Appealing than Seawalls
Now, you may be one of the many people who has considered constructing a seawall to provide some protection for your property. This can be a good step to take as well, but the truth is that there are quite a few differences between bulkheads and seawalls, and one of the most noticeable of all is their appearances. For example, seawalls are often much taller and constructed with unattractive materials like cement and sometimes steel. Whereas bulkheads are used to retain soil and preserve a more natural looking landscape (and as mentioned above, often use more natural construction materials), this is rarely the case with seawalls.
6. Bulkheads Can Be Enhanced in a Variety of Ways
Going along with the point above, just in case you don’t happen to “love” the look of your bulkhead (whether new or pre-existing), the good news is that it can be easily enhanced aesthetically. For example, capping the bulkhead with a sturdy material like ArmorWare not only helps to keep it strong as a barrier, but also provides it with a revamped, sleek and stylish look. Of course, if you still don’t happen to like the look of your property’s bulkhead, you can always construct a raised deck that looks over it rather than at it, or even extends above it (in these cases, waterfront properties may want to consider fiberon decking because of its durability and protection against the elements).
7. Bulkheads Make it Easier to Install Fencing
Should you want, a fence running along your property, a bulkhead helps to support it and provides a clear outline for it. Installing fencing alongside a waterfront without a bulkhead can result in it sinking or sagging quickly, among other things.
8. Bulkheads Are Safer for Humans
How many times have you walked alongside a shoreline and hurt yourself on a rock? Or almost tripped? Don’t worry– it happens to the best of us. But Bulkheads can prevent this by keeping waterfronts elevated and clear of rocks and hazardous areas.
9. Bulkheads Make it Easier to Build Docks
If you have a boat or are interested in having visitors come to your property via watercraft, a bulkhead is practically a necessity. You’ll need a structured waterfront to build a dock, and again, bulkheads also help make the shoreline safer for anyone using it (if you do a have a lot of visitors to your property, having a good bulkhead is even more important because it will actually help to prevent lawsuits!) Docks can also be constructed to match bulkheads aesthetically.
10. Good Quality Bulkheads Last a Long Time!
By now you may be wondering just how long a bulkhead will last before it needs to be replaced or repaired. This, of course, depends on a variety of factors, such as the materials used, the strength of the water, the amount of harsh exposure, etc. However, the average bulkhead does last for many years. In fact, vinyl bulkheads have been known to last for upwards of 50 years while pressure-treated wood and steel also last for decades.
If you are interested in investing in a bulkhead for your property, the next step now is to find a good contractor, determine what kind of materials you want to use and get an assessment. Overall though, it is an important step worth making.