Even though a retaining wall requires little to no maintenance, not inspecting it or having routine maintenance will shorten it’s lifespan. The lifespan of a retaining wall is highly dependent on the materials and methods used to build it or how frequently it’s maintained . Retaining walls can last for more than 50 years, but if not properly built or maintained, they will only last for a few years. As a homeowner or business owner there are various ways to prevent damage to your retaining wall.
A properly designed retaining wall will last for a long time while a poorly designed one will begin to show signs of damage a few months or years after its been built. Most homeowners have retaining walls with poor designs because they chose an inexperienced builder due to a low budget. A good retaining wall builder will inspect the area and determine which design,materials and techniques will be used to suite the conditions of that area.
Wood retaining walls are not only cheap to build but they also tend to be visually appealing. The only downside to having a wooden retaining wall is that they are prone to wood rot. Since the wood is constantly exposed to the wet soil and humidity, it’s at a great risk of rotting. To prevent the wood from rotting, you can ask your retaining wall builder to use foundation contact wood, to double treat the wood and to also form a protective barrier between the wood and the soil.
Related : Poor Drainage Can Destroy Your Landscape
Bad Drainage and Trees
A retaining wall needs a good drainage system in order to function properly. A bad drainage system will cause water to pool behind the retaining wall and exert pressure on the wall, which in turn starts to crack it. To prevent this, drainage channels can be created right next to the wall to channel water away or the surface can be properly graded so that there is no water stagnation. Tree and plant roots can also cause problems if not monitored. Tree roots have the ability to penetrate and crack the foundation wall hence the need to not plant trees with wide root systems near the foundation wall.
Related: Foundation Damage Caused by Trees
Hire a professional retaining wall contractor in order build or repair an existing retaining wall. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.