collapsing brick retaining wall

Old 03-12-11, 08:40 PM
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collapsing brick retaining wall

Does any body have any suggestions on how I can avoid my wall from collapsing? Yesterday, while working on my garden i noticed the soil around/under the bottom layer bricks were eroding. I am worried that my wall is going to collapse. Is there a way to stop it from falling without having to take the wall apart and redo it? The wall is about 4ft high. Any suggestions please?
Old 03-12-11, 09:42 PM
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It might be possible to have a process called Mud Jacking done to stop the erosion and fill any voids. Google mud jacking if you have no idea what I am talking about.
Old 03-13-11, 06:57 AM
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Welcome to the forums! How old is the wall and what is it made of. Ben's idea of mudjacking is good in order to keep from restacking it, and hopefully will provide a good base that should have been there in the first place. A footer of concrete is always a good idea when putting in a retaining wall. Let us know how it goes.
Old 03-13-11, 08:08 PM
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It is difficult to save a retaining wall that was not built correctly in the first place. How thick is it? Is it brick, or a brick veneer on a concrete wall? Saturated soil has much higher active earth pressure than drained soils. Can you re-route downspouts or other water sources to minimize the saturation of the soil?

Does the wall lean? Measure it with a plumb bob.

Before jacking or performing other repairs, it would be wise to determine if the wall is salvageable over the long term. It's all about physics--the ability of the wall to withstand overturning must exceed the lateral push from the soil. If that is not the case, then you will be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while the wall slowly but surely reaches the point where it breaks apart. 4 feet is not a high wall, but the soil pressures are constant (increasing if the soil is saturated). It is common in clay soils for failure of the wall to slowly occur over a period of years.

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