Maintenance Tips for Retaining Walls

If you have a retaining wall on your property, it is important to inspect the wall at least four times a year. We suggest you conduct a comprehensive inspection at the end of each season. Regular inspection of the structure for any damage caused by the changing seasons could keep your maintenance costs down by allowing you to spot any early signs of trouble. Examine the wall for damaged or weak areas. Look for cracks or crumbling in the mortar or concrete wall. If you have a wooden wall, inspect the timber for signs of splitting, rotting or evidence of termite or carpenter ant infestation. Also, look for any signs of shifting or movement such as any signs of sliding down the slope. Take a mental note of the way the wall leans. Retaining walls should lean into the slope, not away from it. If you have additional structures that were built above the wall such as a shed or deck, make sure that the extra weight and pressure isn’t causing the wall to buckle or bow.

To help ensure that water drains properly around the wall, soil or back-fill dirt is placed around the wall during construction to help water drainage. Over time the back-fill behind and below the wall can become further compacted. Excessive settling can cause serious problems, because rainwater can work its way down through the low spots and the soil can become over-saturated and soft, causing the wall to become unstable. Seaside Seawalls uses steel sheet piling retaining walls. This is best for the above average in height Michigan terrain.  It does a fantastic job withstanding the heavy backfill pressures and its elegant lines enrich the appearance of your property.

Stackable/segmented retaining walls or rock retaining walls are not only cost effective and lovely to look at, but are also a great way to feature your landscaping plants.  But be aware, that plants that grow over or around your wall should be examined regularly as well. The plants can cause potential problems for the wall if the surrounding landscape is not properly maintained. Landscaping plants can protect the wall from erosion, so keeping them well maintained helps preserve the wall as well. Inspect the surrounding soil areas for any signs that the soil is wearing away. If you notice any bare spots, reseed those areas, or plant additional flowers or foliage to fill in the bare spaces.  Keep your walls and landscapes clean of weeds. Even if you only spot a single plant, it’s important to get rid of it as soon as possible. One weed can quickly multiply into a many troublesome plants. Their roots grow deeply and can create costly problems for you. So simply pull out the unsightly weeds by hand as you see them, or treat the entire wall with a weed-killing lawn spray to ward off their growth.

If you have any questions, need advice, want a new retaining wall or want one of our experts to inspect your property, please contact Seaside Seawalls and we will be happy to discuss your options on which is the best solution for you.

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