You have to know the reasons behind why your retaining wall fails so that you’ll be able to determine how you can resolve them or ensure that your retaining wall builders will not make your retaining wall crack, bulge, or lean eventually. To know more of these, keep on reading this article and discover which masonry & block wall repair Gilbert should you use.
We highly suggest you consider making the footing of your retaining wall deep enough to resist the saturated soil’s weight. It has to be deeper compared to the frost line if frost is existing in your area.
If your retaining wall has a shallow footing, expect it to have a lower capacity to resist the water behind it and the soil’s lateral pressure compared to a wall with a deeper footing. The footing’s depth will be even more important in gravity walls, which mainly relies on their weight to be effective.
The additional load on top
If you put an additional yet unnecessary load 3” on top of your retaining wall—a shed or a car for example—can result in a blowout failure. If you do this, the retaining wall will subsequently topple after leaning over due to the extra load. To avoid this failure to happen, make sure to carefully consider all the load you put on your retaining wall before you build it. Based on the amount of the calculated load, your builder may need to deepen or widen the wall’s footing, install tiebacks or anchors for more strength, and increase its thickness to be more durable.
Poor drainage is the major reason why retaining walls get damaged. If this happens, the hydrostatic pressure will accumulate behind the retaining wall. Compared to dry soil, saturated soil is significantly heavier. So, perhaps your retaining wall might not be intended to deal with such a load.
To fix this issue, retaining walls need to get enough drainage that’ll serve as a funnel for the water after the retaining wall, which helps lead the water out and far from the construction to reduce the buildup of hydrostatic pressure. In most retaining wall structures, drainage is given by a mechanism that encompasses gravel, perforated pipe, and geotechnical fabric.
Lack of reinforcement or using substandard materials
Some of the reasons why retaining walls fail would include the lack of reinforcing bars, the lack of supports, or the use of a poor concrete mix. Keep in mind that even a 15” long, and 4” high retaining wall could be restrained as much as 20 tons of soil.
Slope failure is also associated with slope failure. When there are sudden changes in slope dynamics that the wall is holding back, then the wall will be susceptible to stresses that it wasn’t made to deal with. To prevent this from happening, you need to research more about how slope failure can cause retaining wall failure. Also, you need to know the major reasons why slope fails.