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View Full Version : Nieghbors new retaining wall collapsed.


jimmyzlc
12-28-2008, 03:24 PM
My neighbor across th street had a retaining wall installed over the summer. Yesterday we had a ton of rain on top ofvery wet conditions. About a 20 foot section fell over. Inspecting it i noticed there was no pea gravel behind it. No drainage at the bottom to allow water to escape. Now I am no expert as I have never installed a retaining wall, but don't you have to have these two items behind the wall to prevent just what happened? by the way the wall is about 5 foot high all the way across.

stuvecorp
12-28-2008, 04:21 PM
Get some pictures but 5' tall and no drainage, no big surprise.

Green Pastures
12-28-2008, 04:38 PM
I cannot believe you posted this without pictures...........

jimmyzlc
12-28-2008, 05:55 PM
Pics on the way.

punt66
12-28-2008, 06:00 PM
Cant wait to see this. I had a customer that had a wall collapse(not mine). She wanted an estimate to fix. It was all clay and the whole hill moved. The wall did have stone behind it. I got the job but had to remove about 100 yds of clay and replace with gravel because it was way too unstable.

jimmyzlc
12-28-2008, 07:00 PM
Here you go:

Green Team Landscaping
12-28-2008, 07:52 PM
Oh God, thats bad. I would get outta town if I was the guy who built that.... Now a good image for his company.

jimmyzlc
12-28-2008, 08:45 PM
There is probably about 50 feet of this wall that will have to be redone. You can't really see it in the first pic, but in the middle of that pic there is a dark spot and from there to the break it is pushed out. Then from the break to end of the wall where it turns in is going to have to be reset.

Then there is the loose dirt problem. This was brought in to fill the hole where the house next to them was. They bought the house and tore it down to make more room.

Summit L & D
12-28-2008, 08:48 PM
That looks warranty related to me......

I'd also tell your neighbor that the whole wall really needs to be rebuilt, up to code! I can just see the contractor coming back in and fixing the spot that blew out, and leaving her with this situation waiting to reappear.

jimmyzlc
12-28-2008, 09:33 PM
Oh! I agree.

EagleLandscape
12-28-2008, 11:30 PM
yes, there needs to be alot of things behind that wall that the installer missed.

geotextile fabric, i would have done atleast 2 layers on a 5ft wall to be sure.
gravel drain field atleast 3.5' from the BACK of the wall block.
and an extensive drain system to name a few...

skidster32
12-29-2008, 12:56 AM
where are u located in central IL, if u dont mind me asking. i am in the bloomington normal area. if it was in my area i would like to do a drive by lol,because that has bad news written all over it. someone didnt use proper drainage. a wall that high, in our area would have to be engineered. looks like no geo grid also bad news.

skidster32
12-29-2008, 01:00 AM
sorry i posted that before reading the post above...looks like he covered most of my thoughts...:usflag:

davis45
12-29-2008, 01:13 AM
hmm, where is this? I know those buildings in pic 1 and 3. Decatur or Bloomington maybe?

jimmyzlc
12-29-2008, 01:40 AM
I live in Pana, IL

Twitchy
12-29-2008, 11:33 AM
I've seen these situations before. The customer goes w/ the cheaper contractor and pays down the road because the the job was done incorrectly. I fixed a wall last yr that fell do to poor construction. The height of the wall was 5' and tapered down to 2 1/2'. the wall was built w/ no geogrid , drainage, and wasn't tamped behind the clean gravel. The last i heard the customer was still going to court w/ the original contractor for a $15,000 settlement. "Quality Doesn't Cost it Pays"

JLAWNCARE
12-29-2008, 05:35 PM
here in pa anything over 4' needs an enginer is that the same law there

jimmyzlc
12-29-2008, 05:39 PM
Don't know, I'll have to check that out.

jimmyzlc
12-30-2008, 12:57 AM
Update, talked to my neighbor today. Come to find out they had never installed a wall before. I informed her of the little details they missed. She wants me to help them fix it. I pretty much told her it's going to have to be totally redone. first it's going to have to dry out.

To make matters worse there basement drain backed up and a 10 foot section of a asphalt driveway they had put in sank. What a mess.

punt66
12-30-2008, 08:07 AM
Update, talked to my neighbor today. Come to find out they had never installed a wall before. I informed her of the little details they missed. She wants me to help them fix it. I pretty much told her it's going to have to be totally redone. first it's going to have to dry out.

To make matters worse there basement drain backed up and a 10 foot section of a asphalt driveway they had put in sank. What a mess.

Well if he soil is that unstable stone and drainage behind the wall may not have helped.

btammo
12-30-2008, 08:40 AM
Yeah they have some underground water issues. Not that it is an excuse for a poorly constructed wall. She should be talking warranty work with original contractor and should be able to get that done, if not it would be a legal matter, BBB and so on. My questions is if she is your neighbor and wants you to fix it, why didnt she have you do it to begin with?

jimmyzlc
12-30-2008, 12:31 PM
We moved in right before they started all the work on there property. Had everyone lined up at that point. Since then they have kinda adopted my 9 year old daughter and she spends more time there than at home. Super nice people.

One other note is where the break happened there was a old set of steps. I forgot that so that portion of the slope will have to be addressed. Any suggestions on that would be helpfull.

BrandonV
12-31-2008, 06:21 PM
are there no "clips" in that wall? kinda looks like the blocks they sell at home depot or lowes, a real shame. when something like this happens it makes all of us look bad, unfortunately people don't often see it as a contractor problem but as a problem w/ the product itself.

jimmyzlc
01-01-2009, 12:28 AM
Nope, 3rd mistake.

ford550
01-04-2009, 05:50 PM
WOW! I am NCMA segemented retaining wall certified and boy there looks like a laundry list of errors. Like it was said before and had happened a many time to me, customer goes with a low bid and that's what they get. That block doesn't even look suitable for a wall over 1' let alone 5'. It's a real shame, it makes the rest of us look bad. How many times I have been called to repair another contractors short cuts for price or been passed over because the other contractor tells the homeowner "you don't need to build it like that, I have 20 years experience, blah, blah, blah".

lifetree
01-04-2009, 07:06 PM
I have a friend who lives on the side of a hill and had 2 retaining walls built in November, 2008 ... it's ained here every day for the past month and both walls gave way to pressure build-up !! Sorry, don't have pics.

packey
01-05-2009, 11:52 PM
How tall was that wall? Man I think some one is going to be going out of business. I would like to see some better pics of what is behind the wall, but from the looks of it they did not do much according to the specs. As to your question if it should have gravel and a drain behind it the answer is yes. well I would not use gravel but definetly a concrete sand with a drain set up. Also I have learned on any wall over 4 ft to use geo grid I know they say six but I have seen to many of these lower walls fail that do not have reall stable soil behind them.

LB1234
01-06-2009, 12:15 PM
well I would not use gravel but definetly a concrete sand with a drain set up.


Can you please explain about the concrete sand? I'm a little confused...

packey
01-06-2009, 01:29 PM
Concrete sand is just a course sand. the reason I use it is do to the fact you should be compacting the back fill as you build up the wall

LB1234
01-06-2009, 10:12 PM
Concrete sand is just a course sand. the reason I use it is do to the fact you should be compacting the back fill as you build up the wall


I'm aware of what concrete sand is and its uses. From what you posted it sounds as if you are utilizing concrete sand directly behind the wall to aid in your wall drainage instead of drainage stone. Is this correct? Or am I misunderstanding you?

packey
01-07-2009, 07:22 PM
the only place I use drainage stone is directly around the drain. I use the concrete sand beyond that point. so instead of filling the whole back of the wall with drainage stone I utilize the concrete sand. I have personally found it to be more stable and yet it still drains well

jimmyzlc
01-07-2009, 10:39 PM
I'll try and get a few more pics up. The blocks they used where from Lowe's.

AztlanLC
01-08-2009, 03:11 PM
the only place I use drainage stone is directly around the drain. I use the concrete sand beyond that point. so instead of filling the whole back of the wall with drainage stone I utilize the concrete sand. I have personally found it to be more stable and yet it still drains well

Well if it works for you that is fine I guess for me I wouldn't feel safe using this method since I feel overtime sand will start migrating out or clogging up the drain much faster even using geotex.

loupiscopolandscaping
01-09-2009, 09:38 AM
personally i would have used a better block. like a pin system from versa lock to anchor country manor. every wall has its limits and every wall must to constructed for its peak strength

btammo
01-10-2009, 04:48 PM
the only place I use drainage stone is directly around the drain. I use the concrete sand beyond that point. so instead of filling the whole back of the wall with drainage stone I utilize the concrete sand. I have personally found it to be more stable and yet it still drains well

Really? I would never use sand of any type behind a wall. I have yet to see any type of sand that would drain enough for my satisfaction. I run stone all the way bottom to top surrounded by fabric.

LB1234
01-11-2009, 02:46 AM
I wouldn't even think of using sand directly behind my wall. It's very simple...place a pile of drainage stone next to a pile of sand (whichever kind) wait a week or so before a few rains hit it and then tell me which one has the higher moisture content.

I would also think a place like colorado would have a large amount of freeze/thaw cycles and that wouldn't help the sand behind the wall issue either.

Now that I think about it...(1) for me the drainage stone is WAAYYY cheaper than the sand and (2) to properly compact sand (correct me if I'm wrong) you'd need a jumping jack in addition to the plate compactor.