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  • Writer's pictureJames Watts

Let's Talk About Retaining Walls!

Updated: May 29, 2022

Why they fail and how SPS can help you fix them


There are many reasons why brick and stone retaining walls start to fail, lean, and crack. The most common causes are tree roots or vegetation pushing against them, causing them to lean. Hydrostatic pressure causes a build-up of water which gets inside the substrate causing it to fail.


In my experience, there are several factors to look for in trying to repair retaining walls, which is more cost-effective than having to knock them down and replace them. Once it has been determined why the wall is moving, SPS can put together a plan to stop any further movement of the wall. SPS would normally start the specification by installing new weep holes, allowing water to drain out, or ensuring that the existing weep holes are working correctly. The next step would be the installation of masonry beams to join and stiffen the wall allowing it to function as one masonry unit again.


After this process, the wall could move again. In this instance, ground anchors can be installed to tie the wall back to the retained earth behind. This can be achieved by coring a hole through the wall and driving in a ground anchor to the required depth. Initially, a test anchor would have to be performed to confirm the correct loading can be obtained for the size and shape of the wall. Once the ground anchor is installed, it is tensioned up to allow the anchor to work correctly. Then a square pattress plate is attached to the wall to prevent movement.

The anchors are typically installed at 1.5m staggered centres but it depends on the height of the wall and the severity of the lean. Depending on the type and material of the anchor, various length warranties can be ascertained.


Now that you know how SPS can fix your retaining wall, head to our website to book your consultation and get your project started!





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