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erndog 06-10-2008 07:20 PM

reDtaining wall anchoring
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Hi My lastest project is putting a retaining wall to level out part of the front yard. My question is if I need to anchor the new wall to the existing block wall or is mortar enough? On the left side I am going to put in a mortared natural stone ring to the same height/ same question there too. I have a footer under the wall and am doing a drainage pipe with gravel behind the wall.

inspectorD 06-11-2008 05:03 AM

I like the idea of a retaining wall, it's easier to mow the yard above.:D
You need good drainage to keep a wall for a long time.I would fill all those blocks with mortar to keep the water out also. If they freeze, water trapped inside will break. That is why most walls are solid concrete or solid blocks.
The tree you have is also a big issue. The tree will die if you burry the root system and trunk. And if it lives it will break the wall with the roots. The tree and stump need to go if you want the wall to last.
Stay in the shade.:D

glennjanie 06-11-2008 08:46 PM

Hello Erndog:
I am having a retaining wall torn out that is 52 years old and sloping the dirt back on a 45* angle with rip-rap (limestone) to help hold the dirt in place.
Some experience with that wall; it had no footing, no weep holes, no drain pipe and trees lined it all along. I have owned the property for over 15 years now and the wall was cracked and broken up pretty bad the whole time, but it didn't fall over until a kid kicked a couple of sections over. Some of the block cores had reinforcing rods down them and poured full of concrete along with some rods driven into the dirt in an effort to anchor the wall. My back-hoe operator had a dickens of a time ripping it out.
It is good that you have a footer, I would have recommended re-bars sticking up out of the footer into the cores of the blocks, where concrete could be poured in them for reinforcing. An anchor of some sort each 4' would be very helpful too. By all means, get rid of the tree, stump and all.

erndog 06-12-2008 07:18 AM

retaining wall
Thanks for the replies. I checked in gardening to confirm the extra dirt would kill the tree(so I'm a unbeliever!). Whats your opinion of just turning the wall back at 90 degrees into the slope. I really don't want to kill the maple, I get good shade in the evening from it.

inspectorD 06-12-2008 04:48 PM

Good idea.
I would hate for you to loose the tree also.:D
A re-direction sounds good, just also be carefull with the root system. I would keep the wall at least 10 feet away if possible.
Good luck...enjoy your shade.:)

hondadrv24 06-12-2008 06:34 PM

any chance you could change the location of the retaining wall so that it is up by the sidewalk, with a handrail of course, so that you have a lower flat level to mow and enjoy saving the tree???
good luck

erndog 06-13-2008 05:30 PM

the main surface roots of the tree are growing up and down the hill so i'm hoping that I can just angle the wall back where it ends now will be okay. I think the advice of filling the voids with concrete to strengthen and keep water out is a good one. I had thought about using rebar but knew I would figure wrong and have the rebar in the of the block struts. also I plan to put a stucco veneer over it. Has anyone used the bonding agents or should i do the wire screen route?

inspectorD 06-13-2008 06:46 PM

I would use the wire. Only because any water will break the bond. The wire will at least hold the pieces one piece. Rather than flaking spots where the bonding agent did not take as well.
I'm old school, mabey someone knows of some really good stuff for block retaining walls, but not I.:D

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