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Top Causes of Retaining Wall Failure

“Retaining wall failure” does not refer to the total collapse or failure of a wall, but rather signs and indications of a retaining wall’s instabilities that can be saved if properly handled.

Sliding, toppling and overturning are common types of retaining wall total collapses that need rebuilding other than rehabilitation. KLM Concrete Company is the masonry repair New Haven expert to turn to for all your masonry repair needs.

Read on as we highlight the top causes of retaining wall failure, and how they can be solved.

  • Improper Reinforcement Placement

If your retaining wall’s reinforcement was poorly done, you are likely to find cracks and deviations in your retaining wall.  The size, depth, and spacing reinforcement of retaining walls ought to be checked anytime a wall exhibits signs of extreme deflections or cracking.

  • Saturated Backfill

Your retaining wall’s backfill and granular should be well drained during its design. If water infiltrates the backfill, there can be substantial pressure against the wall, which leads to cracking. Poor backfill material such as clay should be avoided.

  • Weep Holes That Don’t Weep

Lack of filters like a line of crushed stone or gravel positioned along a retaining wall’s base can turn weeds into clogs and cause water drainage problems.

  • Design and Calculation Errors

If your retaining wall’s designer lacked adequate information or made a mistake in calculating what was needed to create your wall, the aftermath could be extremely detrimental.

  • Foundation Issues

Lack of site investigation leads to foundation problems due to different soil issues. Designers should be aware of the water table, suitable backfill material, compressible soil available, and any other factors that could lead to a differential settlement or decrease sliding.

  • Retaining Wall Failure Due to Age

If a retaining wall has stood for years without any indication of distress, there are possibilities that it will last even longer. However, this does not apply when adding new surcharges, in seismic regions, or when applying drainage changes above the retaining wall. Any changes should include a full analysis of the impact on existing retaining walls.

Get Help!

Anticipated loads, software mistakes, detailing errors, and shoddy construction are other factors that will contribute to your retaining wall’s failure. Whichever the problem your retaining wall has, contact KLM Concrete Company for evaluation and expert masonry repair.

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