View Full Version : Question about wall base and rain...

10-24-2005, 02:40 PM
Last week a dug out for a retaining wall. Then we got 2 inches of rain. I go back today and try to compact the soil so i could start putting in my base. The compactor just turned everything to much. The mud would just come up on the side and front of the compactor. Overall, the mush was proably only about an inch. In some areas it was more, in others it was less. Now we are suppose to get 2-3 inches of rain over the next 2-3 days. So i imagine the conditions on this job site will be worst by wednesday/thrusday. Whats the best way to get the soil to compact before i put my base agergate in? Waiting a week for the ground to dry out is not an option. We have rain of some sorta on the forcast for every other day for the next 10 days.

The yard some have some draingae issues that i am addressing.


10-24-2005, 03:33 PM
If the 1" had not drained in one week,I would venture to say that it's already pretty compacted,throw in your base and compact again.

10-24-2005, 03:41 PM
It lasted rain saturday. Not 1 week ago. I did think the soil was compact before it rained.


10-24-2005, 03:53 PM
If the water does not soak in in 24hrs I say its compacted

10-24-2005, 04:05 PM
did you use geotextile ?

10-24-2005, 04:33 PM
I did not put any base material in the trench yet. I wanted to talk to you guys first. So no i did not use a geo textile. I will use one if you guys feel it is the way to go in this situation.


10-24-2005, 05:17 PM
Just through QP in there and compact the QP, around 4 inches of QP, youll be fine, we had the same problem but we just worked on.


10-24-2005, 09:54 PM
If your sub base feels firm and stable I would say go ahead and proceed with your base material. If all you have is an inch give or take a little of mud I think you will be fine. What you want to watch out for is a soil that you can actually see and feel move when you walk on it or run your plate on it. It will almost feel spongey. If the compactor wants to sink in the soil I would say you have a pretty good water problem. Your plate compactor will actually continue to pull water up and out of the soil the more you compact it making more of a mess. You without a doubt always want to use a fabric to seperate your base material from your existing soils. There have been instances that I have put in a gravel base and it still moved and felt "spongey". This means that you have an excess amount of water below the surface and it needs to come out. If you get your base in and compacted before the rain you will be fine. The rain may actually help your base material settle completely in which case you may want to re check your grades on it and shim the base with a bit of new material just to top it off to grade perfectly. What are your native soils like? Gravel? Sand? Clay? I can't remember where you're from but the drainage situation will also depend greatly on the type of soils you already have on site.

10-24-2005, 10:40 PM
I would compact a larger "clean" stone into the subgrade to firm up the soil, then install a separation fabric and proceed as normal.


10-24-2005, 11:18 PM
Well where getting hammered with rain now. Hopefully by thrusday i can get back to this job site. I'm going to compact some 3/4 crushed stone into the sub base, put down fabric, then procede with my base as normal. On this 80 ft wall, there was only about 5 feet that i would call spongy. There i will dig down untill i hit a decent sub base.


10-26-2005, 12:12 AM
Hey Matt- It just clicked in my head that this was you who has been posting using MRUSK as a handle! I am the guy who stopped by that jobsite you were at in Sparta/Byram area. Owner of McMeen Landscaping. (Funny, I remember reading your posts sometime ago...)

I am assuming that this wetness is at the same site that I saw you at? Let it dry, then evaluate the situation. I had a similar problem up the street and I ended up digging down futher-past the mud- an using a bit more QP.


10-26-2005, 08:32 AM
What is QP

10-26-2005, 11:41 AM
The only thing you can do other than letting the site dry out is pump out the trench, drop some geo textile fabric in, then drop a 3" layer of 2-3" rock and hit it with the Wacker until it stops moving. You might have to drop another layer over the top of that, then another layer of fabric and then place your leveling pad gravel.

That's what we do for creekside and sea wall applications. If you can't stabilize the base, you are going to have to let it dry out completely.

Another trick I learned last year during the monsoon is this.

Say you have a trench open and you don't have time to close it before the rain. Get some 4 mil visqueen, place it over the trench. Hold it in place with a little rock. then get a roll of fabric, and pour a 6" diamter line of sand and burito wrap the sand. Tie the ends with twine, then place the burito around the trench.

That woreks well here, but consider our soils don't absorb any water. it's all surface run off, and the burito worked to divert the water around the hole. then when it did dry up we opened the visqueen and went to work. Trench footing was dry as a bone, everything else was saturated.

It was a major PIA, but we were able to move the project forward when others could not work. I'm thinking you need to get this one closed before the charming white stuff I don't miss a bit hits the ground.....

10-26-2005, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I went to the job site today and it was still pretty wet. I compacted in some 3/4 stone. I then compacted in a couple inches of quarry process. Some areas are firm as normal, other areas just are not firm at all. I'm going to let this job sit for a couple days and head to the next one. I'd rather wait a couple days on this job, then have proablems later down the line.

If i have to dig down furthur, i will. But i'll reevaluate in a few days.