Leveling a Retaining Wall

retaining wall

Many homes have a retaining wall to hold back the sides of hills and slopes from caving in on their land. This will also keep down on erosion and provide more usable landscaping for gardens, water features, and playing.

There will be times when repairs are going to be needed in order to keep you retaining wall safe and functioning the way it should. A wall that is holding back the side of a hill is under a lot of strain. Keeping it repaired and level will help ensure the life of the retaining wall.

Signs of Being Unlevel

A retaining wall that is not level anymore means that it is leaning away from the hill is it supposed to be holding back. There are several reasons why might happen.

  • Frost heaves
  • Inadequate materials
  • Protruding rocks
  • Bad construction
  • Weather

Whatever the reason might be, the wall is now dangerous and is presenting a hazard to anyone who is going near it or walking on the ground above it. When you detect that the wall is no longer level, you should address the problem immediately.

Materials Needed

  • Anchor Rods
  • Drill
  • Bearing Plates

Inspect Wall

Before you begin to try and level the wall, you should first try to see what it is that is causing the wall to be leaning. If it is something that is forcing it out, you can easily fix that.

However, if the soil under the wall is eroding, or there are other problems, you might need to remove the wall and start over again.

Push Wall Back Up

Dig out some of the dirt and rock that have fallen in behind the wall and then push it back to a vertical position. Use a level to make sure that the wall is straight and perpendicular. Most walls can simply be pushed or pulled back into position:

  • Use bucket on a tractor
  • Pull with a block and tackle
  • Push with large timber

Drill Holes for Anchors

Drill the first hole in the middle of the wall. This is the core anchor. Drill to the depth as required by your local code.

Drill More Holes Every Two Rises

If your retaining wall is brick: every two risers, drill a new hole through the blocks and into the side of the hill.

Install the Anchors

Slide the anchors into each of the holes according to the required depth.

Bearing Plates

On top of each anchor, install a bearing plate. Bolt the bearing plate to the anchor and make sure it is tightened to the wall face.

Continue Watching Wall

After you have leveled off the wall, keep an eye on it to make sure that it does not come out from the side of the hill again. If it does, then you have some other problems that should be evaluated by a landscaping professional.

retaining wall