Common Retaining Wall Failures in the Cicero, NY Area
Being a Retaining Wall Contractor in Cicero, NY is an exciting, rewarding business to be in. The climate here in upstate NY requires steps that may not be as important in warmer climates. When built right with the proper materials and a timeless design, a retaining wall can out last some houses!
Why do some walls fail after just a few years and others will last for decades? Some common reasons are not installing a proper base, inadequate or improper drainage behind the wall or sometimes a lack of engineering can result in the wall being built without elements like geogrid or tie backs.
So what is a proper base? The minimum we use here in the Cicero and Syracuse area is a 6 inch stone base but some types of soil require more. An extra layer of protection is to install a geotextile fabric as your first layer to keep your stone base separate from the virgin soil layer. Base stone must always be compacted in 3-4 inch lifts for maximum compaction.
Drainage? 4” drainage pipe must always be installed behind the wall at the base. This pipe must have a slight pitch to direct water out of the pipe and out from behind the wall. From the pipe almost up to the top of the wall we install either clean round stone or clean angular stone. These clean stones don’t have any small particles in them which allows water to drain down in to the perforated pipe and ends up out the end of the wall.
Walls need engineering? Every wall needs some engineering but the smaller ones are very basic. Walls over 4’ high actually need a real engineer to provide specifications as to what material to build the wall out of and what materials are needed for base, drainage, backfill, geogrid and tie backs. Going back to fix walls is not fun work so when there is any doubt get an engineer involved.
Green Earth Lawn & Landscape has built retaining walls in all the surrounding towns around Syracuse including Cicero NY, Baldwinsville NY, Liverpool NY, Clay NY, Fayetteville NY, Manlius NY, Jamesville NY and many other towns of Central New York. If you have a project you need assistance with give us a call. We guarantee every wall we build.