Storm surges and land erosion are an increasing concern for businesses and homeowners that lies close to the ocean. Seawall structures safeguard your property from getting eroded into the sea. They are an investment when developed properly can provide years of protection.

You will find a variety of materials in the market to select from. Deciding one from them is very important. As most of the seawalls are made from vinyl or concrete precast panels, this article will help in learning about the advantages and disadvantages of both these material options.

List of factors on which seawall construction depends

Buying the right bulkhead material for the construction of the seawall depends on several types of variables. These include:

  • geographical location
  • neighborhood construction allowances
  • soil type
  • space for construction equipment
  • city ordinances

Choosing the right seawall is right for you: Vinyl or Concrete?

Pros of Concrete seawall

Concrete seawalls are basically strong. They have got flat surface that can easily last for more than thirty years. The major advantage of a concrete seawall is the kind of reinforcing steel that it contains. Without it, the wall can quickly fail.  Concrete walls provide long service life to safeguard the strengthening steel from the eroding marine environment.


The best concrete walls need ongoing maintenance. It helps in safeguarding them from any sort of natural damage that occurs due to contact from ocean elements and salt-water. This type of maintenance mostly comprises of repairs to holes and seawall cracks. Also, salt-water that erodes at the steel-reinforcement damages the wall strength and leads to rusting on its surface.

Precast panels made of concrete take large sized equipment to move. It can get cracks at the time of installation and transportation.  The panels can get detached at the joint level, especially at the regions where panels meet to take a turn. This enables water to enter inside the wall.

Advantages of Vinyl

Vinyl has got an estimated life of more than fifty years that is more than concrete. One more reason that vinyl is considered above other materials is because of the aesthetics. Because of the material nature, vinyl seawalls don’t get crack, rust or rot like concrete. They are not impacted by harsh salt-water.

Disadvantages of Vinyl

Traditional grooved Vinyl is impossible to drive into hard surfaces. It has got height limitations. There is only one interlock. Vinyl sheet that is not corrugated is noisier.


Hope this article has provided you a clear understanding of the pros and cons of both the vinyl and concrete material.