5 Reasons Why Retaining Walls Fail - And What to Do About Them
Retaining walls are structures designed to hold back soil and other materials and prevent them from sliding down. They are commonly used in construction projects, such as roadways, bridges and buildings, as well as in landscaping and gardening projects. However, retaining walls can fail for a variety of reasons, leading to costly repairs and potential safety hazards.
It's important to know when to schedule retaining walls repair in Jackson MS. Common signs of retaining wall failure are cracking, bulging, bowing or buckling. Foremost Foundations and Construction provides retaining wall repair, and we have a number of solutions based on the extent of the damage.
Below are five reasons why retaining walls fail and what to do about them.
1. Poor Design
One of the main reasons why retaining walls fail is poor design. When designing a retaining wall, factors such as the height of the wall, the type of soil or material being retained and the water pressure behind the wall must be taken into account. If the design is not properly planned, the retaining wall may not be strong enough to hold the weight and pressure of the soil or material, leading to failure.
To avoid a poor design (or poor repair), be sure to hire a qualified foundation repair expert who is experienced in this type of work. Foremost Foundations and Construction will restore the position of the wall, provide a detailed estimate for the work needed and explain the best repair process. We can also design and build new retaining walls.
2. Improper Drainage
Another common reason for retaining wall failure is improper drainage. Retaining walls can be subjected to significant water pressure from rainfall, snowmelt or irrigation. If the wall is not designed with proper drainage systems to remove excess water from behind the wall, water pressure can build up, causing the wall to bow, crack or collapse.
To avoid this from happening, you must have the proper retaining wall drainage. This way, water and pressure will be diverted away from the back of the wall. A common way to drain water properly is by installing stone or gravel behind the wall.
3. Use of Poor-Quality Materials
The quality of materials used in the construction process can also affect the wall’s durability and strength. Using low-quality materials, such as low-grade concrete or timber, can result in a weaker retaining wall that is more prone to failure.
As mentioned above, always choose a reputable contractor. Masonry contractors, excavation companies and landscapers often offer retaining wall services, so do your research, ask for referrals and look at portfolios. Also ask about the materials being used in your project.
4. Lack of Maintenance
Like any other structure, retaining walls require regular maintenance to prevent failure. If a retaining wall is not properly maintained, it can become weakened over time, leading to cracks, bowing and collapse. Maintenance tasks, such as removing debris from behind the wall and inspecting for damage, should be carried out regularly to ensure the integrity of the retaining wall.
5. Soil Erosion
Soil erosion is another reason why retaining walls may fail. If the soil behind the wall is not properly compacted or is exposed to erosion from rainfall or wind, it can cause the retaining wall to become unstable. Proper soil stabilization techniques should be employed when building a retaining wall to prevent soil erosion and ensure stability.
Retaining walls can fail for a variety of reasons, including poor design, improper drainage, poor-quality materials, lack of maintenance and soil erosion. Proper planning, construction, and maintenance of retaining walls can help prevent these issues.
Get an Estimate for Retaining Walls Repair in Jackson MS
If you do need retaining wall repair, contact Foremost Foundations and Construction. We have extensive experience working with retaining walls of all types and sizes. We can provide you with a detailed estimate of the work that needs to be done, as well as the best solution for repair. Get in touch with us today!