There are several reasons why retaining walls may fail or collapse. Unplanned or extra weights can cause them to break. When adding weight, homeowners should consult experts. One common mistake homeowners make is parking a car on top of them. If you want to avoid this mistake, consider adding a gate and a parking lot. Adding weight and parking on the wall is never a good idea. In the long run, your home will end up leaning or breaking apart.

Design errors

Retaining walls can fail for several reasons, but the most common is due to poor design or construction. Inadequate reinforcement, poor drainage, and expansive soils are all reasons why retaining walls bunbury can fail. Incorrect design can result in a lower-than-expected height below grade. The incorrect placement of reinforcement or the failure to conduct adequate ground investigation can lead to foundation issues. In these situations, the designer should be consulted and the design double-checked to ensure that the structure will hold the weight load.

CAUSES OF RETAINING WALL FAILURE OR COLLAPSE - METROPOLITAN CONSULTING  ENGINEERING & FORENSICS

Poor drainage

A variety of reasons can cause a retaining wall to fail, from poor design to inadequate reinforcement. Some of the common causes of a failing retaining wall are poor drainage, expansive soils, or inadequate reinforcement. A poorly designed retaining wall allows for more damage to occur over time and is not as sturdy as it should be. Here are the signs of a failing retaining wall. Not only are they easy to spot, but they can also be preventable.

Tree roots

If your retaining wall is collapsing because of tree roots, you may not be the only one affected by the problem. In many cases, the walls were built without any reinforcement, such as weep holes. Because of this, water will accumulate behind the wall and cause it to bulge. This water pressure will eventually force tree roots to push against the wall, causing it to collapse. In many cases, the problem can be solved by a professional tree service.

Leaning

Some retaining walls will lean, buckle, or even bow. These types of problems are usually associated with a failing design or construction. It is important to pay attention to these problems right away because if you leave them alone, the damage will continue to worsen until it becomes unmanageable, and ultimately collapse the wall. Additionally, leaning walls will most likely begin cracking at some point. However, if you’re unsure of the cause of your leaning, you can consult a professional to inspect and determine if you need to repair your retaining wall.

Buckling

If you’re building a retaining wall, you’ll need to know why they can buckle, bow, or lean. These problems are usually connected to excessive lateral pressure or faulty construction, and you should not ignore the warning signs of structural damage. If left unchecked, the damage will increase until the retaining wall collapses. At some point, you’ll probably notice cracks in the walls, too.

Bowing

There are many reasons why retaining walls may bow. These can range from structural problems to cosmetic issues. In many cases, a failing wall is a precursor to more serious damage. Some retaining walls may have a variety of problems that are connected to defects in their materials. The best course of action is to contact a professional to determine the exact cause of the issue. Otherwise, you may end up paying for extensive repairs.

Total collapse

While total collapse of retaining walls is extremely rare, it does occur. In this situation, massive amounts of retained earth break free, causing damage both above and below the wall. Fortunately, most retaining walls display tell-tale signs of trouble before they completely collapse. A sign of structural overstress can be a retaining wall deflection greater than 0,5 cm per meter of height. If you notice that your retaining wall is deflecting significantly above its normal range, you should contact a professional to evaluate the retaining wall and make any necessary repairs.