Retaining Walls Repaired
A wall put up to hold soil back in a particular area is commonly called a retaining wall. A retaining wall has to be stronger than a free-standing wall. Besides supporting its own weight, they must also support lateral forces of the soil pressuring against them. Sometimes, when the soil is saturated with water, like after a heavy rain or snow melt, they can build up an extreme amount of force, especially with clay soils that expand when saturated with ground water.
There are things that should be done when building a retaining wall:
- Pitching the wall so it leans toward the earth it is retaining.
- Wall Tie-backs, or sometimes called earth anchors, should be installed to tie the wall into soil that’s well behind the wall.
- A French Drain should be laid behind the bottom of the wall to catch groundwater, and channel it away before pressure can build up and force pressure against the wall.
- Concrete footing should also be used to support the wall, especially in areas that have soft soils, or are subject to freezing in the winter months.
Sometimes, even when all of this is done, in time, a retaining wall can fail. The drain may clog and ground water could apply pressure against the retaining wall. When a retaining wall begins to fail you may notice leaning, wall cracking or a buckling of the retaining wall.
Sometimes, as trees grow, their roots may also apply pressure against the retaining wall. The weight of cars on a parking lot up against a retaining wall can also apply additional pressure, causing a retaining wall to fail.
It doesn’t matter if a retaining wall is built of fieldstone, concrete block, poured concrete or wood, in time it can begin to lean. When this happens, the property owner has several choices:
- Completely demo the retaining wall,
- Re-install a new footer drain and rebuild the retaining wall, or
- Call a foundation repair specialist like Ram Jack New England, who is expertly trained to help stabilize the retaining wall.
Once Ram Jack New England stabilizes the retaining wall, it can continue to serve its intended purpose of preventing soil from moving. Ram Jack New England provides a free written estimate and, after the work is performed, they provide a full warranty on the work.