Andrew

Landscape Blogger. Over 10 years of residential landscaping experience.

Repairing Retaining Walls

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Although walls are commonly used as an interior design and structure, they are also functional in landscaping. You can utilize retaining walls to define a space, act as a garden backdrop or generate a privacy division. Maintaining retaining walls can be challenging because aside from supporting their weight, they also have to withstand lateral forces caused by soil erosion and other factors. Due to that, as retaining walls age, it is inevitable to encounter several problems with it.

Take a look at your retaining walls. Are you starting to observe noticeable wear and tear? Is it starting to seem shaky and unstable in some parts? If yes, it might be time to have it checked so that you can repair or have it replaced before it causes a significant mishap. If you want to learn more about how you can extend your retaining walls’ life, you can try out these simple repairs we will share with you.

Signs You Need to Repair Your Retaining Wall

One reason why retaining walls succumb to lateral forces and other factors easily is that it is not well-built. A retaining wall failure may be caused by inadequate mortar, improper steel reinforcement, or the use of low-quality materials. Besides that, here are some warning signs that you can watch out for:

Timber Retaining Walls

  • Rotting or warping of the wood
  • Damages caused by insects

Concrete Retaining Walls

  • Cracking or crumbling
  • Damaged blocks of concrete
  • Leaning or bulging wall

Timber Retaining Walls

  • Loose and crumbling mortar
  • Damaged brick
  • Loose stones

Note that some of the signs such as leaning or bulging walls, soil pushing the wall over, or damages in large sections can affect any retaining walls regardless of what material it is made of. 

How to Fix Retaining Walls

No matter what the problem is, it is always better to address it in its early stages to prevent a total retaining wall failure. Most of the time, these little predicaments can be repaired even without the help of experts. However, if you do not have a sufficient understanding of the problem, it is best to ask for assistance to have it fixed appropriately.

For those who prefer to give it a try and fix their retaining walls by themselves, here are several tips you can keep in mind:

Cracks

  • The first thing you have to do is assess whether it is a minor or structural cracking. For minor cracks in concrete retaining walls, you can quickly mend it using a concrete repair kit or epoxy. However, if it is a structural problem, it is advised to leave it in the hands of the professionals.
  • For cracked bricks, you can chisel out the mortar around the damaged brick/s, remove them and replace them with new bricks and mortar. Note that you can’t leave cracked bricks for long because it can weaken the whole wall, and it may cause it to fall entirely.

Rotting or Warped Timber

  • When you notice damaged timber in your retaining walls, it can be caused by excess moisture from the soil or insects like termites. The best solution for this problem is to remove the damaged timber and replace it with properly treated timber. 

Leaning Retaining Wall

  • For small retaining walls leaning in the wrong direction, you can opt to dismantle and rebuild them with better stability. Try using concrete pads or a compressed road base to build a better footing for your retaining walls. 

Conclusion

As much as possible, we wish to keep our properties looking their best and serving their purpose for the longest time viable. However, the materials used in building them will eventually need some repairs. In maintaining retaining walls, there can be problems that are a lot harder to fix by yourself, so the best choice is to call in the experts’ help. 

The licensed landscape contractors, builders, and carpenters in Toowoomba are experts in fixing and building retaining walls. If you want to diagnose and address the problem with your retaining walls as soon as possible, the best option is to speak to the team at Toowoomba Retaining Walls.

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