Category Archives: Seawall Installation & Maintenance

3 Tips to Get Your Dock Ready for Spring & Summer

Get ready to get back on the water! While we are currently in the middle of an extreme cold period with about a foot of snow in Indiana, we’re also about a month and a half away from Spring. No more cold weather! This means it is time to get all marine equipment ready for the upcoming season. Those that don’t prepare well will be sorry. If a piece of equipment got damaged by winter weather, ill-prepared waterfront owners will be stuck waiting to get on the water. And once dock company’s schedules start to get full it can take weeks to get something repaired. Today we’ll look at what to inspect to make sure your waterfront will be good to go in Spring.

How to Get Your Dock Ready for Boating Season

1. Inspecting Your Dock

Winter is harsh on docks. Snow and ice aren’t like rain in the summer that just drips right off, they pile on top and stay for a long time. So after sitting on top of a dock for several days or weeks, the weather starts to cause damage. So the first thing we should inspect when the weather is nice enough is the dock. First, inspect the decking. Make sure the material looks just as good as before with no rotting, splintering, cracks, or warps. Once you’ve noted the condition of the decking, move onto checking the frames. Look underneath your decking and make sure the frames aren’t warped or rusted. Make sure you notice if your dock is looking like it is sitting in the water lower than usual. It could be the entire system, or just one finger sitting a little low. If that’s the case, then the floats are damaged. Finally, inspect the anchoring and make sure it isn’t rusted or broken.

Now if you noticed any damage, it’s time to make sure to get it fixed now before the season starts. Fixing damaged decking, floats, or anchoring are small problems that can be fixed if caught early. These are all repairs that can be expensive of up to a few thousand dollars, but it’s nothing compared to spending tens of thousands on a brand new dock.  If the frames become severely warped or rust and break, then you’ll unfortunately probably have to replace the entire dock. Having an idea of what the damage on your dock is before you call in can help put your nerves at ease rather than waiting on a diagnosis.

2. Examining Your Boat Lift

Snow isn’t a real issue on boat lifts, but ice is. Instead of worrying about warping and cracking, you’ll need to worry if the lift is operational. Before we begin, always check your owner’s manual to see proper winterization techniques recommended from your manufacturer. There a lot of things that can get damaged during the winter on a boat lift. You could find damaged bolts, winches, power units, cables, bunks, or guides. After visually inspecting for wear and tear on any of these parts, it’s a good idea to cycle your lift up and down to make sure it’s working as intended. If you have a cable lift, be sure to listen closely and make sure you hear no snapping or noises coming from the cables. Unfortunately you can’t really replace a cable until it breaks, but it’s good to know it is coming rather than be surprised. For hydraulic lift owners, check your fluid and make it is filled to the appropriate level recommended by your manufacturer. Most issues and repairs needed for lifts will have to be dealt with by an expert. Fortunately, there are many experts with several years of experience at Deaton’s Waterfront Services.

Another aspect of getting your lift ready for the season is the canopy. Lift owners know to remove their canopy and store it for the winter to prevent tearing over the winter. If you leave a canopy on during the winter, snow is going to pile on top of it and destroy it. Call your local lift dealer and schedule them to store and reinstall your canopy every winter and fall. It will save you from having to replace a vinyl each season due to poor care.

3. Checking Your Seawall

The last piece of equipment you need to inspect is your seawall. Snow and ice will also warp and abuse a seawall during the winter. As water freezes and forms a layer of ice, it will push up against a seawall and try to morph it. As the sun appears during the day, it will cause the ice to start to melt and crack. The problem is, at night it will all refreeze and beat against the seawall. This constant cycle will damage the seawall over time and cause it to crack, warp, have gaps, and leak. If a seawall is well made with the right material, it will last for many decades but unfortunately you can never predict when nature will decide to ruin those plans. Inspecting the wall is simple, just walk along and inspect for warped metal, gaps, or leaks. If you notice a problem it will need to be fixed immediately before more damage piles up.

There is a way to help combat the damage that ice can throw at a seawall. If you own a bubbler, it will circulate the water throughout the winter never giving it a chance to settle and freeze. This will help protect anything you may have in the water including a dock, lift, or seawall. It is also helpful in the summer time to get rid of debris such as stray logs.

Final Thoughts To Get Rid of Winter

Getting your equipment working with plenty of time to get your boat prepared for the season is the best thing you can do for your future self and your property. While having damaged equipment will not only drive your property value down until it’s fixed, it also sucks to see everyone out on the water having a blast while you’re not able to. It’s best advised to have your equipment inspected by a waterfront professional sometime in the fall to give yourself plenty of time.  Once the schedule fills up for manufacturers and waterfront service shops, it can take weeks or months to get you a new part or get your equipment fixed. So make sure to see if your equipment will need a repair immediately to make sure you can be out there having fun with everyone else. If you feel more comfortable having an expert inspect your dock, feel free to reach out to us here at Deaton’s Waterfront Services. We will send a team out to inspect your equipment for a free quote. As always, feel free to contact us or give us a call at (317) 747-4933.

Things To Keep In Mind When Buying a Waterfront Home

Buying a home on the water is a great investment that will provide great views and hours of fun. However, the process of finding the perfect property is difficult. There are several factors to consider when inspecting a waterfront home. You need to make sure that the waterfront is in good condition, and will fit your needs. Real estate agents have no problem selling someone barely passable marine equipment to make a quick buck. Today we’ll look at a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you aren’t getting duped into buying a home that isn’t the right fit.

Waterfront Home

Factors to Consider When Inspecting A Waterfront Home

The Water

When buying a home on the water, you’ll first want to make sure that you’d like to live on the lake you’re looking at. You’ll want to make sure the water quality is good, the traffic isn’t too crazy, and check to see what the water levels typically are at every year. This step requires the most research but it’s important to see if you are the right fit for the lake community. In housing divisions and coves, it’s a good idea to watch the traffic of the lake during the evening hours. If there’s a lot of boat traffic, it’ll prevent you from having a peaceful evening if that’s what you seek.

To make sure the water is up to your standard, don’t be afraid to take a quick dip to decide. If the water stinks, is very murky, and full of algae you probably wouldn’t to live there. Obviously it’s a lot easier said than done to find the perfect lake, but patience is always key. The main takeaway you’ll need to see no matter the quality of water is the depth. Make sure your water is deep enough for boats to drive through. This is usually around 5′ – 8′. If the water is too shallow you won’t be able to own a dock or boat lift.

The Dock

The main reason someone would want to pay a premium to live on the water is because they want to get out and enjoy it. Part of that equation requires a boat dock, which needs to be in good condition or you’ll spend thousands more to replace it. When looking into a waterfront property, make sure to inspect the dock. Look at the decking, frames, and floats. If the decking is starting to warp, wood is starting to splinter, or nails are sticking out, then the decking will need replaced. Floats are also going to need replaced if they are barely holding a dock above water. Having to replace the decking or re-float the dock is the thing you’ll have to worry the least about as they are small repairs. If the frames are rusted, you’ll need to replace the dock entirely.

The whole point is to make sure you’re not spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house to have to spend thousands more to get on the water. If you find a great house but inspect to see that it has a terrible dock, the price should reflect that. It shouldn’t be the same price as a fully operational waterfront.

The Seawall

The final factor to consider when buying a waterfront home is the shoreline. Over time, water will erode sand and dirt away causing a shoreline to recede. This might not sound like a big problem, but losing land on your property is going to hurt your investment. To help protect your investment, check if the property you are looking at has a seawall. If it does, make sure that the wall is in good condition by looking for gaps or warps. You obviously don’t want to pay full price for a property if the seawall is going to need replaced. There is another form of protection that is cheaper and more natural, rip-rap. By placing stone down along the shoreline, it provides an extra layer of protection to prevent erosion. So if you don’t see a wall but do see a layer of rock, you’ll be OK. For more information about shoreline protection, check out our page here.

Buying a home on the water is a difficult process that you need to be prepared for. If there are times when you feel overwhelmed during the process, just think about the beautiful payoff on the water. Make sure that everything on the property is in working order and in good condition. If you need any equipment inspected, our expert team will do so free of charge and recommend a plan to restore working condition. Feel free to contact us for a free quote, or give us a call at (317) 747-4933.

Can RipRap Help My Waterfront Property?

What is RipRap?

Riprap is a layer of loose rocks that is used to cover a shoreline and protect it from water erosion.  The rocks are typically a crushed granite material, varying in sizes. As waves come crashing in, slowly over time they will begin to erode the shoreline back and disturb it’s look. By covering a shoreline with riprap, it creates a natural look that prevents water from washing soil and sand away. The construction process begins by laying out a mesh layer of geotextile fabric to prevent soil from seeping back into the water. Then, the shoreline is covered with large rocks of crushed granite, typically supplied by your local quarry, to prevent the water from crashing into the soil. Overall, the installation process for riprap will not disturb the environment.

Geist Riprap

Why Do I Need RipRap?

While riprap is great for aesthetic reasons, it’s main use is to prevent water erosion.  There are many options for preventing water erosion, but riprap is the cheapest and most natural option. The biggest factor when determining if riprap is the right solution for your land is the slope and natural look. If your land isn’t too steep, such as a 2:1 slope where the land rises every 2 feet for every foot it goes back, or if you want to maintain the natural look of the terrain then riprap is the best option.

RipRap vs Seawall

The two choices that Deaton’s Waterfront Services offers for managing your shoreline are riprap and seawalls. Seawalls offer much more protection against shoreline erosion, but the construction method is also more intensive on the land. Heavy machinery such as an excavator are going to need to terraform your land into the right position then drive metal sheet panels into the ground. Seawalls are also more expensive than riprap due to the construction costs. If you’re looking for a budget method to protect your shoreline, riprap is the best way to go.

Deaton’s Waterfront Services has an expert coastal management team that ensures to protect shorelines from water erosion. We will come out and inspect your property to determine the best solution for you, free of charge. If you’re interested in protecting your investment from erosion, feel free to reach out to us or give our office a call at (317)747-4933.


Beginners Guide to Seawalls

As many already know, owning a waterfront property doesn’t come without risks. Docks, boats, and any other waterfront equipment all come with their own risks and headaches, but people often overlook their land. Homeowners want to protect their investment, yet they will see their land slowly eroding over time due to the waters’ acidity. The prime way to protect your waterfront investment is with a seawall.

Advantages of Owning A Seawall

A seawall’s main purpose is to help keep your land in control. However, you can break that down and look at all the benefits it can provide. A seawall will help protect your home’s value by preventing the shoreline from eroding. This will help a home not only maintain it’s value, but also increase it  and perhaps allow the house to sell quickly when the time comes.

Another protection method that seawalls offer is protection from natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes. Water will have a much higher distance to travel before it reaches land. This helps buy time in case of any evacuations. A seawall can also prevent water from traveling to a house.

Constructing A Seawall

When developing seawall, first the shoreline must be evaluated to determine which type will fit best. Generally in the Midwest, the two types of seawall you’ll find is curved and vertical. The next decision to make would be the material used. There are several types of material from galvanized or non-galvanized steel, concrete, vinyl, or composite. We here at Deaton’s Waterfront Services commonly construct steel seawalls. During construction of one of our seawalls, we first lay out our panels by interlocking them and making sure they’re level. Once level, we drive the panel into the ground using an excavator. The height of your seawall off the water is known as the grade. Typically this is 30-40″ off the water, but every case is different. To finish the installation process up, the panels will be covered with a  top cap and tied back to the support poles.

Best Time for Seawalls

While most waterfront projects typically must be done in season when the lake is thawed, the nice thing about seawalls is they can be installed year-round! So for an easier installation, the best time of the year to purchase a seawall and have it installed would be winter since the schedule will practically be wide open.

Owning a seawall is an investment that will pay for itself over time. It helps maintain the value of your property, and gives you a layer of protection against nature. If you are interested in a seawall, feel free to request a quote from us. Feel free to stop by our office at 215 S. Madison St, Fortville, IN 46040 or give us a call at (317)747-4933.


Seawall Construction for Different Shorelines

We love getting on the water to fish, enjoy our boats, and maybe take a dive. But we often forget some of the most important parts of our waterfront experience. That is, how do we actually reach the water itself? Before we even start to think about our docks, we’ve got to take a look at the shoreline.

About Seawall Construction

Managing your shoreline isn’t all that glamorous, but it’s a necessary part of your overall waterfront experience. If you don’t have a solid shoreline in place, the rest of your property will start to suffer. To have your waterfront looking great for years to come, you often need a seawall to protect your land from erosion.

Seawalls are essentially retaining walls. When built properly, they work to keep your land steady, so your property doesn’t start to slide into the water. But they serve more than one purpose. Just as they keep your land out of the water, they also keep the water off of your land by limiting flooding. They also work to give you a reliable water depth, which we all need for boating. Lastly, seawalls give waterfront property a more finished look. They can be both practical and attractive.

The Different Seawall Types

Seawall construction can utilize a variety of different materials, including concrete or vinyl, but we tend to focus on two other seawall building options. For a true long-term solution, we’re advocates of steel sheet piling seawalls. If you need a permeable barrier, then we go with a rip rap seawall. Both have their benefits.

Steel sheet piling seawalls are great for shorelines that need extra stability. Because they’re so durable, they also work to create additional space for your waterfront. We often see steel sheet piling seawalls at marinas, commercial sites, and larger public areas and parks. It’s easy to turn the land behind the seawall into a picnic area or grassy spot to enjoy looking out on the water. These structures are more expensive, but they can also give you a better all-around value—even for private property. Plus, they tend to last longer than rip rap barriers.

That isn’t to say that a rip rap seawall is a bad choice. They just serve a different purpose. Rip rap is basically a rocky barrier that’s added in to reinforce a waterfront. Unlike a permanent seawall, these structures allow some water to reach the shoreline. It offers more gradual variations with the shoreline depth, so it’s the better option for local wildlife. They also have the benefit of creating a more natural look along the water.

Protecting Your Shoreline

Choosing the right seawall for your shoreline depends on the slope to the water, the activity on your waterfront, and the area’s natural elements. For example, a rip rap seawall might work just fine for a gentle slope, especially if the soil has a lot of clay and there aren’t strong currents. A steep slope, on the other hand, would probably require a steel sheet piling seawall. Shorelines with a lot of sand can also benefit from these stronger structures. The same goes for areas that have a lot of waterfront activity. Busy shorelines might need a permanent barrier for safety reasons.

Of course, the best way to determine what seawall type you should go with comes down to a consultation. Talking with your local waterfront experts will give you a better idea of what your site needs. And if your shoreline is starting to slide, or your current seawall construction is failing, the sooner you can talk with a crew, the better. You might be able to get by with a seawall repair instead of a total replacement.

If you’d like our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services to weigh in on your options, feel free to send us a message. We have experience with both commercial seawalls and residential structures. Let us know if we can schedule a video call or in-person visit to discuss your needs. For any and all seawall questions, we’re here to help!

Shoreline Stabilization

Shoreline Stabilization

Creating a shoreline stabilization sounds super easy? Right.
However it can be extremely labor intensive and require specialty equipment. Special heavy duty equipment can be brought in to reinforce the embankment. This can be established by installing steel sheet piling along the exposed area, or providing a layer of protection with rip rap.
Depending on the body of water and location, it could come down to the lake authority for the permitting to make sure the proposed solution will be in compliance with the waterfront regulations.

“What’s to gain from Shoreline Stabilization?”

There is a lot to gain from Shoreline Stabilization. Throughout the entire United States waterfront property is always more expensive per acre in comparison to property with zero waterfrontage. Therefore erosion control is protecting your investment. No more loss of property due to erosion.

Erosion of a shoreline can happen from numerous aspects most commonly from waves crashing into the shoreline, as this occurs it begins to undermine the foundation of the shoreline. Thus causing the bank to not be stable. When a bank is unstable its not safe and unusable.

There are several different ways to “shore” up a shoreline. The two most common ways that Deaton’s Waterfront Services suggests is to utilize rip rap limestone, or steel sheet piling.

The rip rap method consists of using 3-5” large size rocks to completely cover the exposed areas on the shoreline. Doing this allows the waves to physically break on the rocks and not be able to come in contact with the bank. This allows for a short-term solution to any waterfront owners shoreline stabilization. This method can last 2-5 seasons depending on the grade and the wave volume.

The steel sheet piling method consists of using a 7 gauge engineered panel that comes in lengths of 24”. We will install this panel using the 50/50 formula. This accounts for however much panel is out of the lake bed will need to have that much into the lake bed. For instance a 12’ seawall panel will need to be installed at least 6’ into the bottom of the lake bed. Then after installing the enforcements, and top cap you will have a lifelong solution for your erosion control.

Be sure to call Deaton’s Waterfront Services if you would like any more information pertaining to design, permitting, or estimates on erosion control. Our email is, and phone number is 317.747.4933. By: _RUN_PMD_


Sea Walls


The Purpose of Seawalls and Waterfront Maintenance

Seawalls work on a variety of waterfront issues. They help facilitate proper drainage, work to prevent flooding, and are a great line of defense against erosion.

The most common seawalls are made from either steel sheet piling or rip rap (or some combination of the two). Steel sheet seawalls provide a great durability and help establish a mixed-use area above the shoreline. Rip rap, on the other hand, offers a more natural look. These types of stone barriers create a gradual transition from the land to the waterline. Both types of seawalls can work great on residential or commercial property, but only if they’re properly maintained.

Waterfront Protection and Seawalls

Lots of property owners opt for a seawall because they like the finished look it gives their waterfront. In addition to helping maintain your own property, seawalls can also benefit the shoreline in a some other important ways:

  • Helps maintain proper water depth
  • Works to stabilize the shoreline
  • Adds an attractive transition area for property
  • Provides mixed habitat for local wildlife

Of the two seawall types, rip rap create more variations in shoreline depth. This helps animals like fish and turtles get the environment they need to thrive. But for marinas that experience a lot of boat traffic, steel sheet piling seawalls tend to be best. While these designs aren’t as helpful to the local wildlife, their durability provides an ideal solution for stabilizing waterfront areas that can’t utilize rip rap alone.

Common Problems with Seawalls

Whether you have a seawall on your residential property or the structure was built on a commercial lot or community park, the questions about maintenance are often the same. In general, seawall maintenance is relatively slim. Checking the structure a couple times per year (as well as after major storms) will help you keep an eye on how it’s holding up. Yet, because seawalls don’t usually require much upkeep, a lot of people will forget to inspect them.

Hands down, the number one thing working against your seawall is time. While the seawalls are put in place to prevent waterfront erosion, they can’t stop it entirely. It’s only natural for years of erosion  to disrupt your seawall’s stability. For rip rap seawalls, the most noticeable issues will be dislodged stones, or a general slumping of the barrier. The concerns with steel sheet seawalls can be more complex.

Some of the most common problems people will notice for steel seawalls include: leaks and cracks, corrosion, joint separation between panels, and outward bowing. Any sections that appear misshapen can be a cause for concern. It’s also a red flag if the land near your seawall is showing pits or sinkhole formations. This could be a sign that the wall may be breached or cracked in an area you can’t see. If that happens, heavy rainfall or other water may be drain through the wall itself and cause further damage.

It helps to realize that seawalls don’t last forever. A number of factors can affect your structure’s stability. Good seawall installation is of the utmost importance, but if you’re starting to see some wear and tear, it’s best to act sooner rather than later. Working with a quality waterfront contractor will help you assess the damage and complete repairs, as needed. The right crew should be able to repair seawall cracks or even re-install the seawall footer if the damage is serious enough.

Deaton’s Seawall Construction and Seawall Repair

A good seawall should be built to last, but every waterfront will experience its own set of changes over the years. If you think your seawall has seen better days, contact the experts at Deaton’s Waterfront Services to come take a closer look. We’re proud to handle seawall repairs, as well as new seawall construction services for Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (317) 747-4933 if you have any questions about our seawall services. We’d be happy to go over any concerns you have before scheduling an on-site visit. Seawalls should be an asset to your property. At Deaton’s Waterfront Services, we’ll help you keep them that way!