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Chrisnj99 06-23-2008 07:20 PM

Can I remove a section of a wall?
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Hi guys, I have a retaining wall the runs the depth of my property, it's 12" high along the driveway (30'+), and about 24" high along the house (20'), and 48" high along the backyard (45'). The section that runs along the house is crumbling and collapsed over, can I just remove it, level it, and put decorative rock and bushes. Or does it have any structural significance?

I know it's not holding the house up, or retaing anything other that the dirt that behind it (about 30" wide). Since the wall connects to the house at the driveway and backyard, the middle section looks like it's just for show.

See the pics, by the way I know I need to fix the section that connects the backyard wall to the house, I'm planning on removing them and inserting new block, but any tips welcomed!

Thanks for the help! --Chris

PaulMin 06-23-2008 07:36 PM

Plan on doing the block repair at the same time as the small retaining wall is supporting it. If you are certain there is nothing of significance buried you can remove it level it and plant whatever. It looks like just a raised bed. It's hard to say what is on the left end where it turns back toward the house.

Chrisnj99 06-23-2008 08:22 PM

Thanks Paul, on the left side it meets the house at the garage entrance, I do believe it's just a raised bed. Thanks for the post, do you think it will look weird with a level section in the middle?

inspectorD 06-24-2008 05:31 AM

The only reason I can think of is for frost. Living in the northeast you need to be 42 inches(where you are) below frost with our footings. Your wall and planter may be there for meeting the depth and helping with insulating against frost.
The damage to your walls is most likely from heaving. Water behind the walls freezes and then pushes things around, braking the wall into sections.
Take the wall out and dig down to see how far the footing of your foundation is. If it's not at 42 below the soil line, rebuild the wall with landscape timbers and timber-lock screws...they are easier to fix later.:)

Chrisnj99 06-24-2008 07:03 AM

I didn't even think of that, thanks, how will I know how deep it goes, should I dig down?

inspectorD 06-24-2008 05:23 PM

Dig down against the foundation with a shovel. Be careful there may be footing drains close to the surface there. Take your time and if you are going to do more digging call the local Digsafe to check out what may be buried is a free service.:)

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