As we all know, there are so many benefits and advantages that come with having a retaining wall on your property. Retaining walls are great for landscaping and beautification, however, its main purpose is to act as a structure that will keep and retain soil or water in a specific area so that they will not be eroded and transported to other locations.
Because retaining walls give property owners a lot of positive assistance, it is normal for the owners to want to make their retaining walls last for many years. This can only be achieved when the wall is maintained properly.
People who have a retaining wall on their property must know that experts recommend having it inspected every year so that any issues and problems can be fixed quickly. One of the problems that retaining walls suffer from is leaning or bending from their original shape and structure.
How do you fix a retaining wall that is leaning?
Just like most materials in this world, it is absolutely possible for a retaining wall to have defects after years of use. When a retaining wall is leaning, most professionals would recommend your wall to have it excavated, have its drain reinstalled, have an anchor installed, or by rebuilding a new one once it is already beyond repairs.
Method #1: Installing a drainage system
The most common reason why a retaining wall is leaning is that it is forced to carry more weight than it is supposed to. When water becomes backlogged within the area where a retaining wall is supposed to maintain, it can be very heavy, causing the wall to lean and fail. Repairing or reinstalling the drainage system within the wall can usually stop the problem to grow worse to the point that the wall will fall or break.
Drilling weep holes can also help the extra water stored within some areas to be drained as soon as they make their way into the soil.
Method #2: Installing an anchor
A leaning retaining wall can be pulled back by having helical anchors installed. This method is usually done by welding blades into steel shafts that will be drilled in the retaining wall. An anchor will secure the steel shafts, which will then be buried underground. This technique does not only stop the retaining wall from leaning but also makes it more durable and rigid.
Method #3: Excavation
One method to stop a retaining wall from leaning is by dong an excavation, however, this method is considered to be very extreme and expensive, which is why it is mostly avoided. During excavations, more support and reinforcement for the wall can be installed, which can also solve the problem. Excavations are done when there are two or more issues with the wall, such as leaning and drainage issues.
Method #4: Rebuilding the retaining wall
When the condition of the retaining wall is already too damaged that it can no longer be fixed and repaired, the last thing that can be done is to have it rebuilt entirely. There are times that rebuilding a retaining wall will be the wisest decision, as some methods can be more expensive to do.
Can you push back a leaning retaining wall?
Pushing back a leaning retaining wall is often not recommended. This is because doing so can cause even more problems to the wall and may even be the reason why the wall will fall once the wrong technique is done. However, if you can contact an experienced contractor and engineer you can trust to do the job, this can be a good method to fix the leaning wall.
How do contractors fix leaning retaining walls?
If you want to know more about the process most contractors practice when fixing a retaining wall, we have provided a brief walkthrough of how it works. We understand how overwhelming it can be to get the help of an expert, and this is why we have made a guide to help you.
Step 1: Inspection and survey
On the date that you and the contractor have set, the professionals will do the inspection of the wall to assess whether it can be pushed back or if it will need more serious measures. At this time, they will tell you the options that are available according to the condition of your retaining wall. If you have agreed to continue, a time and date to start the process will be acknowledged.
Step 2: Remove the unnecessary debris
Before the project is started, the area surrounding the retaining wall must be cleared. It might be necessary to have trees pruned and trimmed and some plants to be transferred to another location. Also, it would be very helpful to ask other neighbors to refrain from passing by at the moment for their own safety.
Step 3: Start of the project
Depending on the method that can be done to fix your leaning retaining wall, this is the part where the professionals will start to make your walls functioning like normal again. It is important to note that some projects may take longer to finish and complete, especially if the retaining wall is larger in scale, the material used is hard to work with, or if the damage to the wall is very serious.
Step 4: Completion of the project
Once everything is already in place, your contractor will recheck and inspect your retaining wall to see if the problem is already solved.