[Posted on November 21st, 2013 by Aaron Presley]
Here at Bayou City Lumber, we offer Vinyl Bulkhead Material. Bulkheads, also known as Seawalls, separate and protects our New Jersey waterfront property from erosion and provides you with a safe place to access the water via piers and docks . 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, the most common is 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 bulkhead construction has some definite advantages when compared to other materials used to construct bulkheads and seawalls. When you are going through the process of selecting the various options for your project, you should certainly consider vinyl bulkhead construction for long-term durability and a variety of other reasons. Vinyl bulkhead materials cost more up-front, but have a lower life-cycle cost making them the most cost-effective option in the long term. 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, also known as treated pilings 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.
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, but Vinyl Bulkhead material is the better material.