Retaining Wall Leaning

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by rbriggs, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    After the winter we had in New England, my new block retaining wall began to lean outwards (towards my driveway). I was told that it was due to poor drainage, ultimately causing frost to push the wall outwards. The company that built it came in last spring and tore it down completely and rebuilt it block by block. I talked with the foreman who told me they were adding alot more stone for drainage. It appeared that they did this. My concern is that I am going to experience the same problem after this winter. Any input?

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    Lots of variables here briggs.

    First, is the wall a CMU, or segmental (mortarless) If you have a CMU leaning, it's most likely due to drainage, and at the same time, a miscalculated footing or key width. Our books for example show for a 3' wall, you need a 3' wide footing, 1' thick, with a 6" keyway poured monolithically 1' from the back of the footing. Th wall would actually be positioned directly over that key so when pressure built behind it, the key and back lip of the footing would work as a lever against those poressures, along with the amount of footing in front of the wall.

    On a segmental wall, it could be anything from not enough to no grid reinforcement, to not enough compaction in the backfill soils, to the wrong back fill soils just to name a few..
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Right just adding more rock may NOT correct your problem.
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Drainage can and usually is the main culprit in a new wall leaning, so if they re did it and added more drainage don't sweat it till/and if it happens again. I doubt a company would rebuild it and not correct the problem the second time.

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