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How to Care for Your Retaining Wall

By Whirl Construction (404 words)
Posted in Retaining Walls/Pavers on December 26, 2019

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Retaining walls are a practical way to protect sloped areas of your property. They can also be a beautiful addition to any landscape, protecting your lawn while also adding aesthetic and visual interest. 

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However, retaining walls still need regular care and keeping, especially in colder weather. Without proper winterization, your wall is susceptible to cracks, erosion, and other elemental damage that can shorten its lifespan and leave your landscaping looking less than stellar. 

We’ve helped homeowners and commercial properties alike maintain their retaining walls for nearly four decades. The truth is, caring for your retaining wall is simple. Follow these four steps to ensure your wall stays in top shape no matter the weather. 

Inspect Your Wall 

Check your retaining wall several times during the winter season, looking for cracks in stones or gaps in the mortar. You should also look for any areas that are misshapen or bulging, as that can indicate a more serious problem. If you see any issues, call a professional to schedule an assessment. Gaps and cracks can easily be mended in the spring, but a bulge may need to be addressed immediately. 

You’ll also want to check the drainage pipes that were installed with your wall. During fall leaf drop and winter storms, these pipes can become clogged. If they aren’t cleared out, they can cause damage to your wall. 

Replace Topsoil 

When winter snow melts, it can cause runoff and ultimately erode the topsoil surrounding your retaining wall. When the weather begins to warm up, carefully inspect the soil around your wall and check for signs of erosion. If you’re using plants to secure your wall, look for any dead spots, as this can indicate topsoil loss. Replace topsoil and dead plants as soon as possible to maintain the integrity of your retaining wall.  

Don’t De-Ice

When spraying de-icer on your driveway, you may be tempted to turn it to your retaining wall as well. However, these products contain chemicals that can compromise your wall’s materials and even erode stone. Instead, it’s best to use patience and let the snow melt naturally, or clear it away with a blower if necessary. 

In short, while retaining walls are naturally strong and weather-resistant, it’s important to check them throughout the year to avoid issues. With proper care and keeping, your retaining wall will last for years to come and will be a beautiful addition to your property’s landscape.

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