Retaining walls are structures made of materials like concrete blocks, poured concrete, cross ties, rocks or boulders that hold and retain soil. They are important not only practically as they provide a barrier which helps hold soil in place, but also aesthetically as a decorative feature to the landscape. Unfortunately, not all retaining walls are built correctly. Most people succumb to the mistake of fixing their own retaining wall which results in money loss and property damage.
Common Issues with Retaining Walls
These are some of the retaining wall problems:
1. Tilting - is a result of the wall being poorly constructed right from the start. Another reason may be expansive clay soils which is a result of excessive moisture. It may be also a result of poor reinforcement and drainage. These elements put pressure on the wall resulting to its tilting.
2. Crumbling - is a result of inadequate reinforcement of the material or poorly mixed concrete in the case of concrete retaining walls.
3. Cracking - usually indicates a structural problem. Moisture also plays a big role in instigating cracks.
4. Poor quality wall anchor – refers to low quality anchors which will corrode and put your wall at risk of damage.
5. Drainage Problem – is caused by the buildup of pressure against the wall caused by water or moisture.
Professional Help When Repairing Retaining Walls
Repairing retaining walls is not a simple process. You need professionals to assess the damage and the extent. These professionals will be able to fix your retaining wall quicker and more efficiently. Most DIYs will result to greater damage, in which case you might have to take the wall off and rebuild it again.
In some cases, the problem concerning retaining walls is structural. Engineering, planning and assessment for repair or replacement will be needed. A massive wall, especially one that is shifting or bulging, must be examined by a structural engineer as this may be an indication of a bigger and extensive damage. In some cases, excavation may be the solution. When there is lateral ground movement involved, a structural engineer must be consulted again.
In terms of excavation, repair, drilling, reinforcement, drainage and other major repairs of retaining walls, you must call the professionals who can handle these situations properly. These things are not something you can easily do at home, as this might cause more damage on property and might harm or injure the people involved in the repair. Safety must be at the top of your priority list.
Written by Robert Thompson, owner of Custom Outdoor Designs, where they are one of the best companies for stamped concrete in Columbia, MO.