If you think your retaining wall is damaged or failing, you may need to consider calling a contractor here at Omega Masonry for retaining wall repair.
To find out if your retaining wall is in need of repair, it is important to first know the purpose of a retaining wall. A retaining wall is a structure created for the purpose of retaining the lateral pressure of the soil on your property. A retaining wall is effective in holding soil and substrate in place, which prevents erosion. Erosion occurs because the force of gravity is constantly pulling against the soil on your property. Retaining walls are built out of strong materials like concrete, stone, wood, vinyl masonry, steel, and brick to prevent this erosion from occurring on your property.
Your retaining wall is definitely in need of repair if it is tilting. Other signs of damage include forward movement, bucking, cracking, crumbling, rotting wood, or even separation of the retaining wall from any adjoining walls. If you notice these signs of damage to your retaining wall, do not worry. Your wall can be reinforced by a wall anchor system or a helical tieback system.
It is important to identify the symptoms of retaining wall failure quickly, as they only get worse over time. If you fail to have your retaining wall repaired, it could fail and can even encourage erosion instead of preventing it. Do not let this worry you, though, as the damage is pretty easy to spot. Your failing retaining wall will likely show damage in one or more of the following three ways.
The first most common sign of damage is a collapsing or tilting wall. This issue can arise as a result of poor construction or problems within the soil it retains. If the issue is a result of poor construction, either the footing toe is not large enough, or the wall is not reinforced well. Walls made of wood or railroad ties often deteriorate because water in the soil causes rotting within the wall’s wooden materials. If the wall is not built with a proper drainage system, water can collect behind the wall and apply unnecessary pressure. Not only does this cause soil to push against the wall, but it can cause the clay to expand which can crack the wall and worsen the tilt.
The second most obvious form of retaining wall damage is separation from an adjacent wall. This damage is almost always caused by improper construction. If the wall is not built to withstand the amount of weight it holds, it might separate from an adjacent wall. This can also occur due to inadequate drainage and poor connection to the adjacent wall.
The third most obvious form of retaining wall damage is crumbling. While crumbling can occur for any number of reasons, the most common is inadequate design. The wall was probably not designed to withstand the weight it carries. If the retaining wall is made of concrete, the crumbling is likely due to improperly mixed or weak concrete. A concrete wall can also crumble because it does not have a strong enough steel rebar reinforcement.
If you are in need of retaining wall repair, call our expert contractors here at Omega Masonry for more information.