Retaining Wall Repair: Fixing Common Problems Like Leaning and Cracking in St. Louis

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Retaining walls are crucial for maintaining your St. Louis property’s landscape. However, over time, they can experience issues like leaning and cracking. Luckily, some minor problems are fixable with DIY solutions. Here, St. Louis Sod Install empowers you to identify common retaining wall problems and offers guidance on repairs.

Common Retaining Wall Problems:

Leaning: This is a major red flag and indicates potential structural problems. A leaning wall could collapse, causing damage to your property.
Cracking: Cracks can vary in severity. Minor hairline cracks might be manageable, while large cracks require professional attention.
Bulging: If the wall bulges outward, it signifies pressure building behind it. This can be caused by improper drainage or inadequate backfill material.
Leaking: Water leaking through the wall can erode the surrounding soil and compromise the wall’s stability.
Diagnosing the Cause:

Before diving into repairs, it’s vital to understand the cause of the problem. Here’s how to diagnose some common issues:

Leaning: Observe the direction of the lean. If it tilts towards the soil it retains, there could be drainage issues or inadequate backfill.
Cracking: Hairline cracks might be due to minor settling, while large cracks could indicate foundation problems or pressure behind the wall.
Bulging: This usually points towards improper drainage or inadequate backfill material.

DIY Repairs for Minor Issues


For minor retaining wall problems in St. Louis, such as small cracks or slight leaning, here are some DIY repair steps:

Gather Tools: You’ll need a shovel, hammer, masonry chisel, trowel, level, and appropriate patching material (hydraulic cement or mortar mix).
Excavate the Area: Carefully dig away soil from the leaning side of the wall to expose the base.
Address Drainage: If drainage is lacking, install a French drain system to divert water away from the wall.
Re-compact Backfill: Use appropriate backfill material, like crushed gravel, and compact it firmly against the wall to provide support.
Patch Cracks: Clean and widen cracks slightly, then fill them with patching material according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When to Call a Professional

While some repairs are manageable, it’s crucial to know when to call a professional retaining wall contractor in St. Louis. Here are some signs you need professional help:

Major Leaning or Bulging: If the wall leans significantly or bulges outwards, it requires immediate professional attention to prevent collapse.
Large Cracks: Extensive cracks throughout the wall indicate structural issues best addressed by a qualified contractor.
Drainage Problems: If you’re unsure about installing a proper drainage system, consult a professional to ensure it’s done correctly.
Engineered Retaining Walls: Repairs on engineered retaining walls demand expertise, so always hire a licensed contractor for such projects.

Partner with St. Louis Sod Install for Your Retaining Wall Needs

Remember, safety comes first. If you’re unsure about the extent of the damage or your DIY skills, don’t hesitate to contact St. Louis Sod Install. We can connect you with reputable retaining wall repair contractors in your area. By following these tips and seeking professional help when necessary, you can ensure the longevity and stability of your retaining wall in St. Louis.

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