Wood retaining walls can be a great fit for residential properties because they’re durable, attractive, and in many cases, DIY friendly. However, wood retaining walls don’t last as long as other materials like concrete blocks, so you’re likely to notice signs of damage sooner.
Below are some telltale signs that it’s time to schedule a wood retaining wall repair with a company like Foremost Foundations and Construction. We typically recommend helical tiebacks or wall anchors for retaining wall repairs, or we may suggest a full replacement.
1. Rotting or Warping Wood
Wood walls tend to rot over time. This happens because water soaks into the wood and starts to deteriorate it from the back. Because you can’t see this from the front, you may not notice that your retaining wall is failing until the damage is widespread.
Rather than relying on your eyesight only, use a sharp object to test the area. If the tool sinks into the wood, it’s a sign of rotting. You can either replace the affected boards or build a new retaining wall.
2. Loose Boards
Another sign that it’s time to repair your wood retaining wall is loose boards. As with rotting timbers, you can remove any loose or warped boards and replace them with new ones. Make sure the new boards are treated as well.
Of course, replacing boards is a short-term fix. If they continue to rot or loosen, you’ll probably find it best to replace your retaining wall with something more durable like cement blocks. This is especially the case if your retaining wall starts leaning in another direction.
3. Major Eyesore
Retaining walls have a functional purpose, but they can also be pretty and decorative. If yours has become a major eyesore, this is a definite sign that it needs some attention. The wood timbers used to construct a wood retaining wall can rot, warp, split and fall over, causing your retaining wall to look ugly.
If the whole wall is down, you’re probably best replacing the entire wall. This gives you the opportunity to choose a new, stronger material and improve your curb appeal. You can even add new features like integrated steps and layered landscaping to transform your space into something practical and beautiful.
4. No Longer Holds Back Soil
Wood is a fine choice if you’re planning to hold up something simple like a short plant bed, but it’s not the best choice for complex projects. If the boards are falling, crumbling, or leaning, this means that the retaining wall can no longer hold back the weight of the soil.
In this case, a repair won’t do. You need something stronger and more durable, which is why a replacement is in order. This gives you the opportunity to choose a new material that will meet your needs and support the weight of the soil.
Schedule Wood Retaining Wall Repair
Foremost Foundations and Construction will assess the condition of your wood retaining wall and determine the best solution, either a repair or replacement. We’ll provide you with a detailed estimate that explains the work that needs to be done. Contact our retaining wall repair experts today to schedule your retaining wall repair.