Since retaining walls are outside and often look a little rustic, it is easy to ignore them and not get repairs when they are needed. Those leaks, holes, cracks, and other damage can lead to the failure of the retaining wall and very expensive replacement bills. At least once a year, or more often in really rainy years, examine the retaining wall for weak spots and damage. Then, call a local contractor who specializes in retaining walls for a repair bid.
When Does a Retaining Wall Need Repair?
Homeowners in Scottsdale, AZ, might not think there is enough rain to cause retaining wall damage. But there are heavy rain events that can cause damage. Other events can also damage retaining walls. A retaining wall may have been improperly built and not be stable. The retaining wall could be old and have mortar that is failing. There could be cracks and holes in the wall that need patching.
Someone could have backed into the retaining wall damaging it. In addition to other reasons, the retaining wall could be built in the wrong place, be in the way of future construction, or be unattractive and need replacing with more attractive materials. Getting retaining wall repair can be a small, inexpensive job that will prevent additional damage, or it can be more extensive because of years of neglect. Neglecting a retaining wall that needs repair is asking for trouble in the future.
Some reasons for retaining wall damage that may not be visible to an untrained eye include:
- Too much weight and pressure behind the retaining wall
- Damaged or insufficient foundation under the retaining wall
- Insufficient drainage built into the wall so water pressure builds up behind it
When Does a Retaining Wall Need Replacing or Adding?
Retaining walls cannot always be repaired or may be missing entirely. When the repair of a retaining wall would be so extensive that it would cost close to or as much as a new retaining wall, it is time to consider replacing it with a new, better wall. If the retaining wall was not built properly in the first place, it will not last and will need replacing sooner than a well-constructed wall.
There are lots that need retaining walls to correct too steep a slope up or down and reclaim usable outdoor living space. This does not always mean water management. Some lots are in need of retaining walls to prevent erosion or other damage from surrounding land. If there is no wall where there should be one, it needs to be added.
Choosing a Contractor
When choosing a retaining wall contractor, do a little research online to find who is available in the area. Check their websites out to see the work they show as finished projects. Check their customer ratings and whether they have complaints filed against them.
Next, call the contractors and describe the work you want to be done and see if they want the job. Ask about licensing and insurance.
Ask the contractor if they have the equipment and experience to handle all the aspects of the retaining wall construction including the cut and fill requirements, wall design and building permit capability, wall construction equipment, and experience. Determine what the cost will be, and find out if they guarantee the stability of the finished wall.
Choosing the right contractor will ensure a good retaining wall repair or construction outcome.