Do you need fabric under Riprap? Yes, and it could make a huge difference in whether your material will do its job and withstand nature’s fury. You cannot afford to be cheap on secondary things like good fabric.
What Is Fabric Anyway?
You may recall our posts regarding the use of Riprap for defending against erosion. One important aspect related to Riprap is securing it with fabric. Fabric goes underneath the Riprap as an integral part of halting erosion.
We have two types of fabrics that are popular in the industry: Non-woven Needle Punch (AKA Filter-Fabric) and Non-woven Spun-Bonded Fabric. For shoreline purposes involving Riprap, we tend to stick with the Needle Punch variety–a textile created by the process of extruding thousands of tiny filaments onto a collecting belt and then applying heated rolls to the surface of the belt to bond the filaments in place.
What Does Needle-Punch Filter Fabric Do To Help Riprap?
We want to highlight five benefits to using Needle-Punch:
1. Incredibly Strong
Riprap is very heavy and requires a strong fabric to support several tons of it.
2. Resistant to Puncture Holes
Since Riprap has many jagged edges, you want a fabric material that doesn’t succumb to damage too quickly.
3. Designed to Work With the Forces of Nature
What that means is that it allows for groundwater to pass through it rather than fight against it. It’s still the Riprap that does the heavy-duty defensive work, but you don’t want a fabric that’s going to get in the way of that. This allows groundwater to work its way down an alternate path down the shoreline rather than crashing head-on so much.
4. UV Resistant
In a process known as “reflective cracking,” the sun’s rays have the potential to deteriorate certain fabrics or materials. This is also a similar problem for certain kinds of plumbing pipes. Needle Punch is less susceptible to this problem, but it’s also covered in Riprap, which is even more resistant to UV damage.
5. Stretches Without Expanding
When fabric stretches, it typically expands a lot and you run the risk of developing huge holes (in addition to the puncture problem). Needle Punch does well in this regard, which is vital because it wouldn’t take a very large hole to suffer ruin everything, especially with several waves crashing your shoreline.
Make Sure You Have the Right Weight
As a rule of thumb, heavier is better, but you want to get the right weight so that it’s durable and cost-effective during installation. Needle Punch fabric comes in sizes of 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-ounce thickness. The 8-ounce variety generally costs the most, is the hardest to find, but does the best job.
Delta Aggregate, located on S. Church Road in Immokalee, FL, is your leader in aggregate construction projects. No project is too big or too small for us, so whether you’re trying to protect a large commercial property or your home from water erosion, we can assist. If you need professionals to help install Riprap or any other project, feel free to contact us at 815-791-8377.