fixing leaking retaining wall

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Surferbum21, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Messages: 392

    I have a very good customer who owns a lot of properties. He has a Walgreens that has a very tall retaining wall that over the years has shifted. The dirt it is supposed to hold now runs out of the crack. He just wants a quick & cheap fix for now. I figured we could just remove brick clean out where it has leaked and reset. Would this hold for awhile until earth shifts again (We have had 4 earthquakes in past year...Oklahoma). I told him I would go ahead and give him the high side of putting some fabric on other side and then filling in with gravel instead of dirt to help this problem in the future. Am I going about this the right way?

    I figure to remove 7 layers of rock and reset = $1500 give or take

    I figure to to above and bring in loads of rock = $3500

    This is first job like this I have attempted and don't want to be on the low side and also don't want to be too high b/c he gives me a lot of business.


  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    sounds to me like you're flirtin with disaster.

    get your hands in the pot and 9 yrs from now when the wall completely fails you're named in the suit.

    i know you're hating me right now, but before 7 different members here expend their time on advising you, can you please tell us about your experience with constructing retaining walls?

  3. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Messages: 392

    nope not hating you at all! that's why i got on here b/c i wanted to know what this job would actually entail before I gave the bid and go ahead. I've put several retaining brick walls together but nothing this tall before. it doesn't look to have any sort of support system though. just all stacked straight up. I would imagine there should have been some sort of rebar system in place behind it or something?
  4. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    If he gives you lots of business and you want to keep it that way, find a qualified contractor that can tackle this job along with an engineer. Just by mentioning rebar I can tell you have no idea how this works, also your price is way off and nobody in here can or should give you a price without seen the site and the engineer report and drawings.
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  5. Even Cut Lawn Care

    Even Cut Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    That statement tells me that you do not have the experience you need to tackle this job.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    ok, but, these are not "brick" walls.....

  7. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    There are no "cheap fixes" that will work.

    The entire wall will need to be pulled apart and rebuilt, or at least from the crack up which looks to be about 4 courses high if I am seeing it right.

    Depending on what it looks like behind the wall will determine how much of a PITA it would be.
  8. Krafty

    Krafty LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from St. Louis MO
    Messages: 706

    Ya that wall has a lot more issues then just mud bleeding. You should probably walk on this one I don't see any way regard would help you in any such way. It don't pay to be cheap if he is that good of a customer he will understand.
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  9. Tyler7692

    Tyler7692 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    Have a written agreement with him that you are in no way responsible for anything that happens to the wall. I would clean the crack out as good as possible and pump it full of block adhesive if the crack isn't too wide. That's about as good as you're going to do to stop the problem of leakage other than rebuilding the entire wall. That wall has geogrid behind it for sure (or it definitely should)
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    Saying "Joe the contractor is not responsible...." is not the correct wording.

    Correct wording would be something like "client accepts all responsibility and or liability blah blah blah......"

    Because the management company may agree that you're not liable, doesn't mean the actual owner or a visitor to the property will agree with that.

    No matter what, liability ALWAYS falls on SOMEONE. You have to identify WHO will accept the liability. You can't just write "not me" :)

    I'm not trying to be a jerk :) This is something I see contractors handle incorrectly all the time, and I'm trying To share some insight.

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

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