Signs Retaining Wall May Fail

Engineered Retaining Wall Creates Beautiful Spaces for Planting and Prevents Erosion


If the retaining walls on your property are aging, you may want to be aware of some of the signs a retaining wall may fail soon.  While this article is meant as a guideline only, we highly recommend that you use every precaution when near a retaining wall, especially if it is old, and give a professional a call for a comprehensive inspection.

Out of Plumb:  Generally, an accepted is 1/16th of an inch for every foot of height, but if your retaining wall appears noticeably out of plumb on visual inspection, give us a call.  We can determine if the deflection is acceptable or needs professional engineering.

Saturated Backfill: If the land behind the wall is not properly graded, or if backfill material was poorly installed, saturated soil or “claying” can build up behind the wall, applying too much pressure from the ponding of water behind the wall.

Clogged Weep Holes: Visible weeds, vines and tufts of grass growing from the wall?  While delightful as a storybook illustration, in reality plant growth from weep holes can inhibit proper drainage.  Removing plant material and replacing backfill material with filtering fabric and/or gravel can address the problem of clogged weep holes.

These are just 3 of several indications that the retaining wall needs repair or re-engineering.  We want everyone to have a safe and beautiful property, so as the rainy season approaches, give us a call if you have concerns about proper drainage and the safety and stability of an existing retaining wall.