Block wall repair question

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by modsquad, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Jan 4, 2012 #1

    modsquad

    modsquad

    modsquad

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    Hello,
    I have a fence in my yard that needs both repair (damage blocks replaced due to leaning) and will also be eventually heightened (3 blocks higher) and lengthened (20 ft added). I live in Southern California.

    The hollow cinder block fence was built in the early sixties and is NOT reinforced with rebar. Because cost to replace the entire fence would be too much for my budget I am looking at other options.

    My question: Is there any way that rebar can be added to the existing fence (vertical) and also added to the new fence (height) - and for added strength have horizontal rebar added across the entire fence (added height part) to tie into vertical rebar of the existing fence?

    I have included a (very basic loose, non exact) diagram.

    I am no expert here nor do I know anything about fences, restrictions, laws, permits or the like.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions.

    Peter

    velocity_studios@yahoo.com

    brick wall.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  2. Jan 4, 2012 #2

    Jdmrenovations

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    I'm also no expert at what the codes might be there in California, but I can tell you two of the most common reasons for retaining wall failure. No "dead men" back into the supported area, and no place for water to drain...ie weepholes.

    My concern with your idea is that with no support back into the hill, and no drainage anywhere, the end result will be another failure in time.
     
  3. Jan 4, 2012 #3

    modsquad

    modsquad

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    Your theory is likely true for the damaged area of the fence (indicated in red on my diagram).
    The area behind that slopes higher (putting pressure on fence causing the leaning). That this part of the fence is going to be replaced, the ground area then will be leveled off correctly. My yard overall is very flat. No big hills etc.
    As well, I could add drainage as you suggest to the existing fence as well as including it into the new fence.
    Thanks-
    Peter
     
  4. Jan 5, 2012 #4

    JoeD

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    Is it a retaining wall or a fence. Those a two distinctly different things and building techniques.
    Retaining wall implies dirt behind which is being held back.
    Fence implies free standing wall open on both sides.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2012 #5

    modsquad

    modsquad

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    Hello Joe D,
    Mine is definitely a fence - a free standing wall, however because of a (small) mound of dirt about 2 feet high topped with an old uprooted tree stump - all of this is piled up at one end of the fence approx 8-10 feet where the fence currently ends. This has been here for quite some time before us moving in, thus is causing the fence leaning damage.
    I should also add that the fence is not shared with any neighbor. I live on a corner and the other side of the fence is a public sidewalk. As well, the fence is clearly within my (legal) property line.
    Thanks -
    Peter
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  6. Jan 5, 2012 #6

    JoeD

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    In that case the comments about the drainage and the deadmen can be ignored.
    Depending on how the first fence was built the blocks might still be hollow allowing you to insert rebar and fill with concrete.

    California has earthquakes. You should probably check with your local building department to see what structural requirements are for a fence. they might specify the size and spacing of rebar and any horizontal reinforcement.

    Here is a link that might be useful

    Reinforced Block Walls
     
  7. Jan 5, 2012 #7

    modsquad

    modsquad

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    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the tip.
    That is what I was thinking of doing, however my concern is whether the rebar MUST tie into the concrete base footing (drill then epoxy the rebar)? If so, how could that be done? The existing fence is 5' high.

    Peter
     
  8. Jan 5, 2012 #8

    nealtw

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    Just a couple thoughts.
    When the big one hits, this wall comes down either in pieces or one big slab.
    When the big one hits, the least of your problem will be this wall unless some one is under it when it comes down.
    The original footing was not built to withstand an earthquake so unless it is re-designed, tieing to it will be of little value and now you are adding another two feet to the top.
    Get a permit and if one isn't req. get an engineer involved.
    Just things to think about!!
     
  9. Jan 9, 2012 #9

    modsquad

    modsquad

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    Hello Neal,
    Thanks. I had a feeling posting this would eventually lead to your advice.
    Not exactly what I wanted to hear (and not exactly good for my wallet), but I can't help but to agree with you that building a new wall (reinforced) is indeed the right way to go. I just wish it was not so expensive.
    Can't find any bargains.
    -Peter
     
  10. Jan 9, 2012 #10

    BridgeMan

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    There's always the option of shopping around for some used block, such as Craigslist or the local Thrifty Nickel. And don't forget to cruise the neighborhood(s), looking for properties with major landscaping being done and block walls being removed and replaced. You might get lucky, and find some "free-for-the-hauling" blocks someone just wants to get rid of.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2012 #11

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    The best advice you are going to get is the one you pay for. Spend a few buck on an engineer and let us know what they are looking for.
     

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