How Seawalls Provide Essential Erosion Control Against Flooding

When Flooding Hits, Seawalls Protect Your Shoreline with Erosion Control

Do you own waterfront property? Does your shoreline border a stream, river, pond, or lake that occasionally floods? If you do, then flooding poses serious threats to the stability of your shore. To minimize the risks, you need to implement some form of erosion control. The best way to do that is to install and maintain a seawall.

Read on to learn more about the threat that flooding poses to your shoreline and how seawalls can serve a defense against it.

How Does Flooding Erode My Shoreline?

Erosion is the process of soil being worn away by the elements. Wind, rain, snow, ice—these all exert force that grinds away at dirt and rock. Erosion carves out canyons and creates mountains. It also is one of the biggest threats to waterfront land. Weather and boat wakes both steadily wear away at the shoreline.

The annual loss of land to erosion is an ever-present problem in waterfront communities. Cities dedicate significant funds from their budgets to constructing and maintaining levees and other structures to counteract the effects of steady erosion.

Erosion isn’t always exclusively a slow process, though. Big storms often wash away lots of sand from beaches. Sand dunes that take decades to form are swept away in a matter of hours by high winds and torrential rains, leaving behind a decimated shoreline. Properties are damaged, basements are flooded, and cities sometimes have to spend large amounts of money reversing the damage done to the shoreline, including trucking in tons of sand to replace what was lost.

Here in the Chicago area, we’ve seen our fair share of flooding in recent times. Flood events seem to be growing more frequent, and we’ve seen several storms over the past few years cause flooding throughout the region. Just in the past month, a storm sent floodwaters from the Chain O’Lakes down the Fox Waterway, hitting numerous towns with severe flooding.

This flooding causes extensive property damage and erodes the shorelines along these bodies of water. So, what can we do to ensure erosion control?

Seawalls Provide Reliable Erosion Control

The solution is clear—reinforcing the shoreline with a seawall designed to combat erosion.

Seawalls are structures that come in a variety of designs and materials. Examples include rip rap, which is made from lots of smaller pieces of rock; outcropping, which consists of large stone slabs layered over one another; and steel seawalls, which are the simplest and most popular option in the area.

All types of seawall serve the same common purpose: they shield shorelines from the effects of erosion. This erosion control includes not just the steady erosion that takes place over time, but also the erosion that happens abruptly during a more severe weather event.

A seawall effectively raises the height that water can reach without eroding the shoreline. By adding a protective barrier between the soil and the water, you help ensure ample erosion control. This way, a flood doesn’t wash away part of your shoreline and leave you with less land. That also means that any structures on your property near the water are protected as well.

If you’re looking to protect your property from flooding with erosion control in McHenry, IL and the larger Chicagoland area, give Seawalls Unlimited a call at (815) 331-8830. We have over 40 years of combined experience installing, maintaining, and repairing seawalls on both residential and commercial properties. Talk to one of our experts and explore your options for effective erosion control today—after all, who knows when the next big storm will hit?


Seawalls Unlimited
2350 W. Rte. 120
McHenry, IL 60051
(815) 331-8830