Retaining Wall Information/Mitigation Tips

A damaged retaining wall can become a hazard to property and human safety. Understanding and recognizing the causes of retaining wall failure can help avoid costly repairs.

The following are common problems, along with tips to prevent retaining wall failure: 

· Rotting (if wood)

· Crumbling (if concrete)

· Soil separation

· Water pooling (look around the base)

· Fractures or shifting


How Can You Mitigate Damage to Your Retaining Wall

Fill in Eroded Areas. If you've identified erosion areas, you will want to replace any missing soil quickly to stop erosion from worsening.


Add Plants. Soil integrity is critical to the structural integrity of your wall. If the soil behind it starts to loosen, the wall can collapse.


Using plants to maintain your retaining wall is one way to help keep the dirt compact and sturdy. Their roots will help hold the soil in place and reduce erosion.


Overflowing Saturation. If the ground behind your retaining wall does not drain properly, you will begin to experience failure. When water collects and puddles behind the retaining wall, the pressure against the wall can easily double. To prevent this, you should ensure that your yard is graded correctly to direct water away from the wall.


Foundation Settlement. Retaining walls are built to keep soil materials from falling. However, the soil underneath a retaining wall can begin to compress or subside, causing the wall to settle. Unfortunately, if the retaining wall settles enough, the entire wall can fail.


Seek Professional Services. We recommend hiring a professional if you have a retaining wall to assess your wall for damages and make necessary repairs.

Show All Answers

1. How are codes enforced?
2. How do I notify the Town about a possible code violation?
3. What is the procedure for following up on possible code violations?
4. When Is the Town Responsible for Repairing or Replacing a Retaining Wall?
5. When Are Property Owners Responsible for Repairing or Replacing a Retaining Wall?
6. When Are Homeowners Associations Responsible for Repairing or Replacing a Retaining Wall?
7. What Town Ordinances Determine Responsibility?
8. Retaining Wall Information/Mitigation Tips