How Should I Fix this Failing Retaining Wall?

Where prevention fails, repair follows. Retaining walls require maintenance; here are some options for reinforcing them.

retaining wall falling svf x 500 5963bfe80bb86

If the retaining wall is looking more like a leaky eyesore, help is on the way. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) July 1 Soils Matter blog post explains the maintenance retaining walls require and options for reinforcing them.

“Several factors may cause a retaining wall to fail,” says soil scientist Christina Hebb. “Often they result from poor engineering or not understanding the conditions at the location.”

Hebb offers a few ideas to try before you resort to excavating:

  • Regrade the area maintained by the wall to redirect water flow away from the wall. This may reduce some of the water pressure that may be building up behind the wall.
  • Drill additional weep holes into the wall to allow for increased surface drainage.
  • Reduce the height of the retained material by regrading. Sometimes changing the landscape design is an acceptable method to an allowable limit based on the wall design.
  • Transfer some of the shear force at the location where the wall connects with the ground. This increases the overall strength of the wall.

To read the full original blog post, please click here.