Pros and Cons of Rip Rap

In our line of business, which is helping you protect your assets from damages brought about by the forces of nature, we talk a lot about materials. One of the important materials for our operations is something called Rip Rap. We’ve written about this in a couple of other places, detailing the types of Rip and Rap as well as what kind of defense it provides. Let’s take another look at some of the pros and cons of using Rip Rap for retaining walls.

The pros and cons of rip rap


1. It protects well against erosion

Left unabated, ocean, lake, and river erosion can become a serious problem for property owners. The most efficacious use of Rip Rap is combatting this to help stabilize an eroding shoreline.

2. It’s easy to maintain

You only need to inspect it about once a year, and if you identify a busted rock, it’s nice to only replace one of those compared to replacing an entire single-piece seawall.

3. Rip Rap is simple and eco-friendly

You can use Rip Rap to keep out critters and vermin as well as protect vegetation. Aside from a lack of engineered protection, many floods are made worse by a lack of vegetation.

4. Rip Rap can take a beating.

Provided you take care of it with proper maintenance, Rip Rap can last a lifetime.

5. It beautifies and enhances the property.

Rip Rap can blend in with the surrounding environment and tends to complement the rest of the property better than steel structures. This also has the potential to increase the value of your home.


1. It’s not indestructible

The caveat of PRO # 4 is that you MUST take care of your Rip Rap. All mechanical structures can sustain damage and erode under certain conditions. Again, it all boils down to catching cracks and problems early, so you can make easy repairs and adjustments.

2. Rip Rap is location-dependent

It’s much more useful with high-velocity water from fast-running rivers or sea waves. If you live next to a calmer pond or lake that only occasionally floods, you might consider some other approaches to safeguarding the surroundings. For most of our Gulf Coast clients, this is a very solid option though.

3. It doesn’t do much for adjacent flooding

You can only do so much to stem the tide when your neighbor chooses to do nothing to protect their property. If an adjacent home or property becomes damaged by a flood, Rip Rap won’t do much to abate that issue.

So, that’s a quick rundown on the pros and cons of using Rip Rap. Whether you have a steep-inclined shoreline in need of heavy-duty type-A Rip Rap, or you just need some smaller rocks (Type B, C, or D), Delta Aggregate can help construct a solid means of defense for your Gulf Coast property. Call us with any questions about Rip Rap or any of our services at 815-791-8377. Additionally, you can send us a message through our online contact form.

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