Brick Retaining Wall Joining Two Houses Pulling Away From House

Old 04-16-12, 05:40 PM
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Brick Retaining Wall Joining Two Houses Pulling Away From House

Hello all,

I did a search and it seems that perhaps this question hasn't been posed before, seems most brick retaining wall questions deal with single homes. We have an interesting issue where our 1959 home, the whole neighborhood is 1955 - 1960, has a brick retaining wall that is connected with our neighbors brick retaining wall, and is connected to both of our homes. Our neighbors side of the wall has pulled away from the side of her house, about 3-4" up at the top and down to about 3/4" at the bottom and in the last 6 months has forced our side to start to separate. The brick, as you can see in the picture matches our houses and based on conversations with our neighbor would be around $20K to tear the brick down, build a new retaining wall and ten put the brick back. We are interested in:

1. Finding out if it is necessary to bring in a structural engineer for this work.
2. What our options would be for long term solutions such a creating a tiered wall of planter beds, etc.
3. What is our obligation in assisting her in this endeavor. Our side is not pulling it is her side that is causing the issue.

We want to help out but we also are not interested in a $20K retaining wall i it isn't necessary....

Here is a link with some pics for reference.
Old 04-18-12, 09:44 AM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
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I assume your side is the cream-colored brick, right? The red brick appears to be failing by lateral displacement, pushed outward by fill behind it. Possibly caused by inadequate footings or excess moisture (without proper drainage) in the fill.

I'd be tempted to let her get someone in to repair her side (on her nickel), then just tuck-point the damaged mortar on your side--it's a simple, DIY job.
Old 04-18-12, 10:10 AM
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I did not see much in the photos that really shows they are retaining walls, but mainly just privacy walls.

The red wall will be more costly to repair because of the portion that was added on with improper coursing and a stacked joint on the upper portion.

If it is actually a retaining wall, you should have an engineer look at the possibility of using the existing footing or to design a proper wide footing with reinforcement. The vertical reinforcement, if needed, will be difficult for an 8" thick brick wall with little room for proper reinforcement and grout. An 8" brick wall without reinforcement is only good for a foot or two of soil behind it at best.


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