If your retaining wall is leaning or cracking, you need to replace it before it fails. However, you have to consider a few factors that will influence the structural integrity of your wall. With this additional information, you will be able to replace the wall without having to worry that it will fail any time soon.
Soil Type and Weight
One of the largest factors when replacing a retaining wall is the soil type and weight that your new wall needs to hold back on a daily basis. The weight of the soil determines several factors for your wall such as the amount of reinforcements you need to add to keep the wall in its proper position.
For example, loose dry dirt can easily weigh 76 pounds per cubic feet, while dry clay will be around 100 pounds. Soil mixtures like sand, clay and loose dirt also influence the weight of the ground you are trying to hold back with the retaining wall.
Knowing the soil types and its weight is helpful information when designing a more stable replacement wall.
When replacing your retaining wall, you have to look into the different types of reinforcement products. Understanding how they work can help you choose the right ones for your wall.
Anchor reinforcements commonly called “dead-man” anchors are a good choice for taller retaining walls. These anchors go from the wall and then into the soil a considerable distance. You need the anchors to go behind failure plane, which is the area that the soil will crumble down without a retaining wall.
An additional reinforcement is steel sheeting that consists of plastic, fiberglass, steel or vinyl. This sheeting goes in between the soil and the backside of the wall, so it can help stabilize the soil so it does not press against the wall. In many cases, a retaining wall will fail because it was not built with adequate stabilizers to begin with.
Proper Water Drainage
Another influencing factor for your replacement wall will be the amount of water that stays within the soil. Making sure you have adequate drainage is another way to avoid larger issues that can cause the wall to fail.
One option is to install a weeping system at the base of your wall. This system wicks water away from the soil and the wall, so the additional moisture does not compromise the structure. Excess water will eventually damage whichever material you use to create your new retaining wall, thus making it possible for the wall to fail yet again.
When your retaining wall is leaning or cracking, you want to look into replacing it. However, before you can do this, you want to know what kind of factors can influence your new wall. Having this information will help you avoid some issues that could cause your new wall to fail as well. To learn more, contact a company like Distinctive Landscape Inc. for help.