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Canal Walls Maintenance Advice

Canal Walls Maintenance Advice

Walls are failing all over Southeast Queensland due to lack of maintenance, tide, erosion, flood damage and time. Your wall protects your property. But who is looking after your wall?



  • How long has it been since the wall has been checked for movement?
  • Have you noticed any changes in cracks? (number, length, width)
  • Are there areas of subsidence behind the wall?
  • Are your weep holes still functioning and allowing water to flow easily?
  • Is the wall vertical, or beginning to lean or slump?


Chances are, your answer to all or most of these is ‘No’ or ‘I don’t know’.

Your wall requires regular maintenance to ensure it remains functional for as long as possible.



Just like you need to visit a dentist regularly to keep your teeth healthy, so too you need to get your wall checked to keep it as healthy and functional as possible for as long as possible. Every wall should be inspected annually. Measurement of cracks or panel subsidence should be taken, and photos and data stored about the issues presented. Weep holes should be cleaned out, decalcified and new filters installed. Joints should be checked for sealant.


Annual inspection of your wall ensures you know if your wall has moved, or is allowing material through (subsidence evident) and cracking. It will also help you check if the water behind the wall is escaping properly, thus minimising pressure behind the wall.



Subsidence typically occurs when the material from behind the wall finds a way to come forward. When weep hole filters fail, or joints lose their sealant, or footing widens or cracks, or construction boltholes are not sealed, small amounts of sand or gravel are deposited every time the tide goes out. Over time, this leads to subsidence behind the wall. This can be catastrophic if left unmanaged not to mention the safety issue of having voids and suck-ins suddenly appearing.


If your wall has subsidence issues behind it, it is recommended that this be attended to immediately. We now offer a sand pumping service where sand slurry is pushed into the void until it is not only filled but also until it is compacted down.


It should be noted that homeowners with concrete pathways behind the wall, often don’t realize their material loss is even occurring. We now offer installation of inspection points to allow quick access to the under side of the slab and to allow quick and relatively inexpensive access and correction to any loss of material.



The design of all walls requires the foot or toe to be covered. This will mean either beach re-profiling—that is, using your sand—or a rock top-up. By pulling sand back up we are able to return your beach to the designed profile. The beach re-profiling or rock armouring is a preventative measure against erosion of your waterfront property by maintaining the support against your revetment wall.



Where panels of the wall have subsided or slumped, it may be necessary to dig the soil from behind the wall and reinstating gravel and geo filters. During this process, realigning and securing the panel will occur under an engineer’s guidance.



Unfortunately, all walls have a lifespan. Floods and tide will eventually win. When a wall is no longer viable, the owner must begin the process of installing a new wall. We can guide you seamlessly through this project. From Council and DEHP documentation, to engineer visits and reports to installation of a new wall.


In these cases, we will contact an engineer who will design a wall to suit your requirements and use your current canal design. We will submit all necessary paperwork and permits into place to satisfy EPA, Council and engineering stipulations. Only then do we remove the old wall and install the new one according to engineer’s plans.


Gold Coast Barges are experts at repairing and maintaining waterway revetment walls. By accessing the job from the water, your house and property will feel minimal impact and your privacy will not disturbed.