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Old 09-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #1
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Retaining Wall HELP

First I would like to say NOT doing this myself but I do know a little about somethings and I've watch Holmes on Holmes, so between the my brain and the TV I know when something is bad.
I work for a company that just had a parking lot done. The retaining wall...well its crap. its 20-40 ft tall and the other one in front is about 4-5 ft tall... thus in the middle is the parking lot that is well... being redone(after one week).
There is already erosion and cracking and other areas of concern around the "retaining" wall. The wall is against a hill side (steep). The parking lot just had two cave ins.

What should I have them do.
Example materials ... What stone/rock/concrete should have been used. Drainage type...and pipe type. Barrier? behind. So when they get this fix what to look for when it is being redone so it doesn't happen again.

Thank you and I'm so glad that no all contractors are lazy.


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Old 09-23-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
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A 20-40' tall retaining wall is well beyond the scope of DIY
You need Pro's, soil engineers etc


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Old 09-23-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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Who designed the walls and grading? From the dimensions you provided it is far beyond a contractor to design and not all contractors are qualified to build a 40' high wall. The wall should have been engineered and the engineer will have some insurance. If the contractor hired the engineer, he is also responsible for corrections or rebuilding.

As far as the materials, it all depends on the type of wall. - Sheet piling, reinforced concrete, reinforced masonry, concrete cribbing or segmental retaining wall blocks(SRW). A 40' high wall is very possible with a good design and construction controls. I saw a wall ranging from 5' to 40' high, 5 miles long, that was built out of segmental retaining wall block (SRWs) that had no concrete footing (not allowed by engineer requirements) and had no mortar steel reinforcement, but did use geogrid (mesh) laid into the block wall and then back into the backfill.

The critical thing with a retaining wall is the type of soil retained and drainage of the soil to keep it stable.

On new wall construction and grading on slopes, some erosion and sliding just after construction is not uncommon, but can easily be repaired if the soil is the right type and gets stabilized. If the soil is just dumped or pushed into place, that is asking for trouble.

Most codes require any retaining wall over 5' high to be engineered and signed.

Holmes is the worse place to go on a project like this, especially for a performance issue..


Last edited by concretemasonry; 09-23-2010 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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repo the retaining wall

Wow. So this is worse than I thought. I just use Holmes pretty much as a random "tv" show. Ment for TV, but it did get me thinking. I am having a friend of mine coming to look at it as a favor. He's an engineer but specialize in bridges mostly but a general opinion from him I think will be nice.
It gets better there is a street with house about 25-20yards up the hill from it. Trees in the middle but a BIG green patch in the middle middle middle. NICE.

A retired contractor was walking by and spoke to me and asked what was going on. So I told him about the sink holes. He said that it was probably a spring under neath and asked who built this. He of course said it was crazy to put this massive wall up there and that there was to much weight for the amount of space and the crappy dirt this area offers.

Thanks for your advice and now I'm going to take this to my boss. Don't worry there so much more going on. I'll have coding people and other inspectors up here before this gets more out of hand if no one wants to do anything.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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Don't worry anyone I wouldn't dream of doing a retaining wall myself. I have some skills but that is way above me.
This was originally done by a "pro"
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