Retaining walls are a great way home to make a yard with problems more relaxing and usable. If you have drainage or flooding issues, many of them can be solved with a retaining wall that can divert the water (or include French drains that do). If you have erosion issues that are costing you soil, retaining walls can help keep that soil where you want it – in your yard. If you already have a wall as part of your hardscaping, you know how much it improves your landscape. Eventually, however, you may find that you need to rebuild that retaining wall. Here’s a brief guide to doing that.
Why You Might Need To Rebuild
Retaining walls are built with pitch, meaning that the are supposed to lean slightly in the direction of the soil. If your wall is leaning away from the soil instead, that’s a sign that something is wrong with it and it is time to consider rebuilding it before it falls completely. Retaining walls also need tie backs to secure it. These should be well behind the wall. If your wall is lacking these or they’ve been damaged, you likely need to rebuild. Finally, when there are drainage systems built into the wall, these need to be behind the wall’s foot so there isn’t water pressure behind the wall. If water is seeping through the wall when it rains, that’s a sign that the drainage isn’t doing what it should and that the wall needs to be rebuilt.
Problems You May Encounter
Any of the clues that indicate that you need to rebuild the wall are also issues that you need to address. If the wall has started leaning, you may need to support the structure with compacted gravel to mitigate any loose soil. You’ll also need to ensure that you rebuild with proper pitch. If there are large trees whose roots are damaging your walls or if there are dead or dying limbs, you need to remove these first. Finally, if your old wall had drainage issues, you will need to install some drains or other drainage mechanisms. Always remember to call before you dig to have underground utilities marked so you don’t cause damage or injury.
When To Call Professionals
If your retaining wall is large or is very high, it could be very dangerous to demolish it yourself. Likewise, if you have large trees that need to be removed, either because they are damaging the wall or to make way for a new wall, that is a job best left to professionals. Felling trees on your own can be very dangerous and even deadly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
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