Retaining Wall Construction and Repair


Retaining walls can be a real danger in residential construction. There are two primary types of retaining walls: gravity walls and cantilever walls. Gravity walls are massive structures that rely on their enormous weight to hold back soil. The modern day drystacked, segmental retaining wall with geotextile tie-back grids is an example of this. Cantilever walls are constructed of either reinforced concrete or reinforced masonry and must be anchored to a wide footing. Most Building Inspection Departments require that retaining walls taller than four feet be designed by a licensed professional engineer. This is necessary to ensure that the wall will not slide, settle or topple over. Leaning retaining walls generally indicate improper construction and may fail suddenly and catastrophically. Hence, leaning retaining walls should not be taken lightly. Typical repairs consist of installing closely-spaced helical tie-back anchors. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove a failing retaining wall and replace it. In those cases, we would generally recommend replacement with a segmental retaining wall.

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Segmental retaining wall being constructed
Segmental retaining wall completed
failed masonry contilever retaining walls
failed masonry cantilever retaining walls

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