Use These Tips to Care for Your Retaining Walls

January 29, 2020 11:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Concrete is a sturdy material that can last for decades. However, any concrete structure is bound to fail if it is not properly maintained. It’s very important for you to maintain your concrete retaining walls, in particular, since a retaining wall failure could result in a flood of rocks and soil spilling onto your property and belongings.

Because your retaining wall is consistently exposed to the elements and season after season of stress, you’ll need to take extra care of it to ensure its longevity and structural soundness. Here are some retaining wall maintenance tips you can use to ensure your property in Crivitz, WI stays in great shape:

  • Inspect it regularly: You should be inspecting your retaining wall at least once a year to look for any bulging or shifting, as well as settling. Inspections should usually be conducted in spring, after the snow melts. Some settling is to be expected in the days or weeks following your retaining wall’s installation, but your wall and the soil behind it should not be settling excessively. Look closely for any signs of water pooling in the soil behind the wall. If water isn’t being properly routed around the wall, it could create a hole, potentially compromising the wall’s structural soundness. If you notice a low spot in the area behind the wall, add new fill to ensure the proper soil level and support.
  • Pluck weeds: If your retaining wall is made out of stackable concrete blocks, check the surface of the wall for weeds. One weed can quickly multiply, and lots of weed growth can disrupt the stability of your concrete blocks. You may prefer to spray your wall with weed treatments once a year like you do with your lawn to avoid having to pluck weeds by hand.
  • Clear drainage holes: Some retaining walls are built with “weep holes” or drainage pipes that allow for easier water flow away from the wall. Check these openings routinely to ensure they are not clogged with leaves or dirt and to facilitate proper drainage. If the drains get backed up, water could accumulate behind the wall and cause structural problems.
  • Wash away salt: Wisconsin winters can be brutal, and your wall may accumulate salt and deicers due to the nearby walkways and snow piles. If you see salt gathering near your retaining wall, take the time to brush or wash it away. Salt and deicers can damage your wall, affecting not only its appearance but also its stability. If you expect that salt will be a problem, contact your concrete contractor to discuss protective solutions, such as concrete sealers that can protect your wall from damage.

If you notice that your concrete retaining wall is tilting or significantly damaged, call your concrete contractor to discuss your options. It’s possible that the wall will need to be torn down and rebuilt to ensure its proper structure.

Fortunately, keeping a concrete retaining wall in great shape is relatively easy when you prioritize retaining wall maintenance in Crivitz, WI. To learn more about concrete retaining walls and how to care for them, call Kwiatkowski Construction Co., Inc. We’re your local concrete experts and can help you understand the best ways to maintain concrete retaining walls, patios, driveways and more.

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