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How to Safely Perform Concrete Retaining Wall Repair

How to Safely Perform Concrete Retaining Wall Repair

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January 16, 2007

Concrete retaining wall repair is something that most homeowners will have to consider carefully before tackling themselves.  Minor repairs are usually pretty straightforward but major problems like steep leaning, chunks falling off, or general instability usually require the help of a professional.  If you do decide that the necessary repairs are within your capabilities, then your primary focus from the beginning should be safety.

Concrete retaining walls are heavy and can easily crush you if they fall over or tip on to you.  Whenever you do concrete retaining wall repair, first check the stability of the wall to see if it is steady.  For a solid concrete wall you might need to brace it up, and for a wall made with concrete blocks you might need to disassemble the top few rows of blocks.  This is especially important if the repair needed requires you to be in a position that is vulnerable if there is a collapse.

Concrete Retaining Wall Repair

Take special care when digging as part of your repair project.  Excavating soil from around the footing of a concrete wall can cause it to tip or even fall.  Another common problem with digging is that the soil may not get compacted enough when you replace it into the hole.  Stomp the replaced dirt down firmly to prevent weakening of the wall foundation. 

If the wall is made of concrete blocks then be sure to drive long pieces of rebar down through the blocks and into the ground if possible during your repair process.  Even if you cannot do this for the entire wall, just doing part of it will increase the safety of the wall as you work on and around it.  With a few simple precautions you can safely perform concrete retaining wall repair on your own.

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