The primary purpose of the retaining wall on your property is to prevent soil erosion and water damage from destroying your home's foundation and to protect your landscape. When your retaining wall is in need of repair, you will notice certain signs that the structure needs immediate attention.
Here are common signs your retaining wall needs repair, what causes your retaining wall to fail, and how you can repair the structure, so it lasts. Your retaining wall or concrete specialist will perform the needed work for professional results.
While a retaining wall is designed to keep water flowing away from your home and down your landscape, overly-saturated soil will eventually cause your retaining wall to collapse or sink. You will notice your retaining wall sinking in some areas while remaining steady in others if there is excess water attempting to build up around the structure.
Your retaining wall will also crack and erode due to the pressure placed on its surface from uneven shifting. Your concrete contractor will repair cracks in your concrete by filling in damaged areas, reinforcing the sagging material. New concrete blocks will be added for weight to withstand future water collection. If needed, your concrete contractor will also pour a wide foundation around your retaining wall to help guide moisture elsewhere.
When a retaining wall does not have a supportive base or is too tall yet narrow in design, it can tilt as a result. A retaining wall will also begin to tilt if it does not have even weight distribution for retaining water and soil runoff on your property.
Tilting concrete will be repaired in a few ways. First, the structure itself will need to be supported with the addition of new concrete blocks to even out weight distribution and make the entire structure more durable. Any weak points where cracks or crumbling have occurred will be filled. Secondly, the structure will be righted at an angle that best suits your property's slope so tilting will be less likely to occur in the future.
Concrete is a very durable building material, but it does crumble when water gets trapped inside cracks and crevices, freezes, and causes the binding aggregates of the material to separate. Crumbling concrete along your retaining wall is serious and needs to be addressed right away, as the exposed concrete surface may eventually collapse and compromise the durability of the entire structure.
Your concrete specialist will fill cracked areas with new binding agents and concrete, removing the crumbled, destroyed concrete in the process. It is always best to repair small damages to a retaining wall rather than take the whole structure apart, so your concrete specialist will work on the most severely damaged areas of your retaining wall before finishing with additional blocks or a new ledge to reinforce the structure.
The best way to preserve your property's retaining wall — which can last indefinitely — is to watch for signs of needed repair in your landscape's structure. Always check your retaining wall for signs of damage after a storm or serious water buildup on your property.
A professional concrete contractor should make all retaining wall repairs. The sooner you address small signs of damage on your retaining wall, the sooner you can have the structure reinforced, so future damage does not occur.
Retaining walls are necessary to protect homes and landscapes from foundation erosion and other damages. With proper care and maintenance, a concrete retaining wall can last as long as you own your home. Contact our concrete specialists at B M H Concrete for all your concrete construction needs.