Retaining walls are used to hold back soil or earth. They may be used in general landscaping, to enable building into a hillside or as part of the property such as a basement wall.
Problems with retaining walls
There are many examples of retaining walls that are either poorly built or not well designed. The loads applied to the back of a retaining wall by the ground and any groundwater are often underestimated whilst the restoring effect of the foundation and the wall itself is often overestimated. It is for these reasons that retaining structures are some of the most common to suffer failure.
Building a retaining wall
A retaining wall built by a lay person is usually strengthened by increasing the thickness of the wall and perhaps building some additional piers at intervals along its length. Retaining structures designed by a structural engineer normally include steel reinforcement and substantially more concrete.
In addition to the increased concrete and steel there are finer details that are also important: the size, shape and location of the foundation, the position of reinforcement within the foundation, how the reinforcement connects the foundation to the wall, and how the reinforcement interacts with the wall itself.
Structural Repairs Ltd builds retaining walls to engineers’ specifications to ensure they do not crack or move. We guarantee our work and provide a certificate on completion. Please contact us if you have a retaining wall that has problems or have designs for a new or replacement retaining wall.
Designing a retaining wall
Please click here if you require designs to either build a new retaining wall or repair an existing one. The above link takes you to the Local Surveyors Direct section of our website where you can instantly get free, no obligation and competitive quotes from local engineers and other property professionals.