3 Mistakes That Could Cause Your Concrete Retaining Wall To Fail

Ideally, a retaining wall can be used to strengthen uneven land and create an aesthetically pleasing sight. Unfortunately, if the wall is not constructed properly, it can slowly start to fail and result in the need for repairs. If you are constructing a concrete retaining wall, here are some mistakes that could lead to failure.  

Failing to Properly Design the Wall

Some homeowners believe that they can freestyle the design of their concrete retaining walls, but the reality is, a lack of design could lead to failure. A retaining wall is not just a decorative touch for your yard. It can help to keep water from flooding into your yard and make areas that were previously uninhabitable ready for use.  

In order for this to be accomplished, you need to take the time to design the structure of your wall. Factors, such as the type of soil and the amount of water that flows towards the wall, have to be considered in your planning. To avoid design issues, consider working with a concrete wall contractor.  

Building on Improperly Prepared Soil

Unless your concrete retaining wall will be constructed on rock, you need to consider the soil that will be beneath it. The wall will place a lot of weight on the soil and if the ground is not properly prepared, the soil can start to shift under the weight. When the soil shifts, the wall will become unstable and could topple over.  

The footing for the concrete wall needs to be wide and thick enough to provide the proper foundation. Any soft topsoil will need to be removed. You can replace the removed soil with gravel or another sturdier substance to support the wall. Due to the heaviness of the concrete, you should also consider using steel to reinforce it to avoid cracking. 

Constructing a Wall That Is Too High

The higher your concrete retaining wall is, the more pressure is put on the foundation. If you want to take your wall higher than just a few feet, you need to make sure there is a balance between the foundation and the wall's height.  

In addition to making the foundation thicker, you should consider installing buttress walls that can offer more support. The walls can also help to compensate for any leaning that occurs because the wall is built on a hill.  

Your concrete wall contractor can help find other issues that could occur with your wall and help you resolve them. Contact a company like Burns Brothers Concrete Construction Corporation to learn more.