Choosing the right bulkhead material for your project is not easy. You need to keep many factors in mind. Fabricators these days use vinyl to achieve the lifelike look and texture of natural materials. But, there are other materials you can use that also promise the same characteristic and durability. When it comes to bulkhead material, the following are your options:
Vinyl can mean a bigger upfront cost but you will be able to have lifetime protection. Often, vinyl can last at least fifty years. This means that the annual costs are lower than the cost of other materials. Because vinyl is lightweight and does not absorb moisture, it is ideal for seawalls and marine applications. Also, vinyl does not corrode and is resistant to buckling.
Wood’s natural look offers an organic aesthetic at a reasonable price. Although it is not as long lasting as vinyl, it can be treated to last. Wood can last up to 25 years; however, it can be prone to buckling and cracking. When purchasing wood for marine applications, you need 19% to 21% moisture content. Quality heavy wood is dried and preserved more efficiently than other wood.
These materials can be a good option if you have a tight budget for your project. Although their price is almost half as vinyl, they require less maintenance when installed properly. Because seawall construction requires customizable materials, wood pilings are a perfect choice. These materials maintain their look even if they are exposed to the sun and sea.
Pressure Treated Wood
With pressure treatments, preservatives are forced deep into the wood, adapting it for marine applications. When you choose these materials, ensure you pick those treated using quality materials and lasting impregnation techniques. This is especially important if you want to use the materials for freshwater applications.
Steel and Aluminum Sheet Piling
If you want a material with extraordinary strength, choose steel. You can easily achieve an interlocking seal installation which decreases your initial investment. Such an installation can deal with choppy water in river and marine bulkheads. Compared to aluminum, steel can hold off water better. Both aluminum and steel possess the surface strength for coping with clay and sand onslaughts from the seabed. They are ideal for use in areas with high soil elevations. Also, they don’t attract marine borers. This makes steel and aluminum a great option for locations with dense insect populations.