Existing wood retaining wall soil washing out - how can I fix?

Old 03-11-11, 09:50 AM
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Existing wood retaining wall soil washing out - how can I fix?

Hi everyone...

My wife and I just purchased a new home. The home sits above the rest of the community about 20-30 feet. It is situated on the hill...the side of the house that the hill is on has a semi-large retaining wall situated to 'dam' the soil in the lot so that the soil won't erode away - thus the yard disappearing and the house going sailing down the hill.

I've noticed that over the last two rains - the far corner of the retaining wall (which is the corner that sits literally on the corner of the hill) has a small-medium sized opening at the base of it (about 1-2 feet wide and around 6 inches high. When it rains apparently the soil is washing away somehow because I can see a trail of soil/mud escaping at the opening...and a trail down the hill.

Something else to know as well - there is a gutter on that side of the house where the corner of the retaining wall is that I've been speaking of that has the gap at the bottom. When we first moved in, the gutters were clogged and the water was falling on that side of the house. The downspout for that gutter does actually go down the side of the house and exit where the opening is at the retaining wall is. I thought maybe there's a leak or cleaning the gutter out (which I did do) would maybe solve the problem and stop the soil erosion...didn't help. I don't think that there's a leak in the downspout drain pipe because when it rains, water only trickles out of the opening at the bottom of the retaining wall. In any event - that being clogged and the water not exiting down the hill may have started this.

Except for that one point of the retaining wall...there are absolutely no problems whatsoever that I can see. The retaining wall isn't leaning and the wooden timbers seem to be in good condition (even where the opening is at the corner of the wall).

Anyone have any ideas on what direction I should go in? ) I'm trying to do this as well yet inexpensive as possible (since we just purchased the home). I just want to stop the soil erosion such that it doesn't deteriorate the integrity of the retaining wall as well as make it drain better.

Thanks so much in advance for any advice anyone can give! )
Old 03-11-11, 01:40 PM
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Can you take some pictures of everything?
Old 03-11-11, 01:45 PM
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How high is a "semi huge" wall? What is the slope (height, length) above the top of the wall and what is the slope (height, length) of the wallbelow the wall?

That information will put things into perspective to determine if a single gutter downspout can be a factor.

Slope deterioration is a slow process that is not usually identifiable soon enough.

Did your home inspection before you bought the home "red flag" a possible problem?

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