Sand Stabilization as a Superior Alternative to Temporary Sandbags

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Kure Beach is one of the most unique and incredible sections of the North Carolina coastline. Here, you’ll see a unique assemblage of well-worn coquina rock where the town ends and the manmade rock revetment of the Fort Fisher State Historic site begins.

When the tide goes out, stretches of sedimentary rock reveal themselves in uneven clusters. While some are green with algae, others are sunbaked and dry, and beachgoers are drawn to them to see what’s hidden in the crevices and indents of the rock.

These intertidal coquina rock outcroppings are only one of only a handful of places along the entire Southeastern coast featuring natural marine rock exposure. Made up of fossils bound together with calcite, shell fragments, and sediment, this rock outcropping was formed during the late Pleistocene Epoch, commonly known as the ice age.

Sandbags as a Temporary Solution

While incredible, the coquina rock outcroppings that hug the edge of a four-building, 48-unit condominium complex, known as The Riggings, have battled longstanding rules over sandbag walls since the buildings were constructed in 1985. Erosion problems have continually threatened the structures along this part of the North Carolina shoreline with coastal storms constantly beating against the sandbag wall designed to protect these buildings.

Under state law, you cannot erect hardened structures along the North Carolina coast, leaving sandbag walls as the only legal option for protecting buildings along the shoreline. However, when left in place permanently, sandbag walls only increase erosion problems. Depending on a structure’s size, sandbag walls should be removed within two to five years and are not a viable long-term solution.

A Lesson for Waterfront Properties

While what will happen to The Riggings development amidst its ongoing battle to remove sandbag walls and implement other solutions to prevent erosion over time is still uncertain, this situation serves as a lesson to homeowners living along nearby shorelines. In most cases, sandbag walls are not a permanent solution for preventing erosion, and sand stabilization of the shoreline is the better long-term option.

For The Riggings development, another option is to invest in beach renourishment, but this method is not always feasible due to the many logistical and legal challenges associated with renourishing shorelines to prevent significant erosion. At Carolina Seawall Repair By Concrete Uprising, we recognize that stabilizing a shoreline comes with a multitude of challenges, but our approach is highly effective and involves turning sand into a sandstone-like substance.

Sand Stabilization and its Utility for Waterfront Locations

When we stabilize shorelines by turning sand into a sandstone-like substance, it can increase sand compression by up to 14,000%, and this approach does not involve harming surrounding ecosystems. Developments around Kure beach and throughout the North Carolina coastline have benefited from stabilizing surrounding shorelines with this sand compression method, ultimately preserving the natural ecosystem and preventing major property damage and loss.

What makes strengthening sand and stabilizing shorelines a viable alternative for protecting the strength of shorelines? It is important to first understand the makeup of sand. Because sand possesses weak physical properties, for decades, chemical reinforcement methods have been used to successfully improve these properties and as a result, meet certain engineering requirements. The issue is that many traditional additives result in environmental issues.

As an alternative, many non-traditional additives, like enzymes, polymers, and ions, have been studied extensively to identify how they can stabilize and reinforce sand in marine environments. The product we use to transform sand into a sandstone-like material is a polymer concentration that interlinks the basic structure of sand and helps the individual particles form a stable structure.

Naturally Defend Your Property from Extensive Erosion

Sand stabilization is a beneficial option for increasing the strength of your shoreline and preventing the damaging effects of erosion on a long-term basis. For additional information about how we complete this process and to schedule a time for us to come and inspect your property, contact us today.