What is a Retaining Wall?

Retaining walls serve to retain the lateral pressure of soil. Simply put, retaining walls are used to hold back soil and substrate from moving due to the effects of gravity and erosion. Retaining walls are typically designed out of concrete, stone, wood (including railroad ties), vinyl, masonry, steel, or brick.

AquaGuard repairs retaining walls all over Atlanta and Northern Georgia. We install either a wall anchor system or carbon or steel wall support system along the retaining wall to reinforce the structure.

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Signs You May Need Retaining Wall Repair

Retaining wall failure will always get worse over time, so it’s important to seek retaining wall repair as soon as you recognize damage. Fortunately, retaining wall failure is easy to identify. 

More often than not, retaining walls will show signs of failure in one of the following ways: 

Collapsing Retaining Wall

Poor construction and unstable soils are often the culprits of a tilting retaining wall. Examples of poor retaining wall construction include: 

  • The footing toe being too small 
  • The wall not being properly reinforced
  • No drainage weeps installed, causing water to accumulate behind the wall and force it forward
  • Wood rot and deterioration of railroad tie retaining walls
Retaining Wall Separating from Adjacent Wall

A retaining wall that is separating from the adjacent wall may be failing due to poor drainage and inadequate reinforcement. Although it is uncommon, expansive soils may also cause separation. 

Crumbling Retaining Wall

Retaining walls may crumble for a number of reasons. When a retaining wall is not designed for the appropriate weight load, it may buckle under the weight of the soil behind it. A retaining wall may also crumble due to poorly mixed concrete or inadequate steel rebar. 

damaged retaining wall

A Collapsing Retaining Wall

leaning foundation solution

Both wall repair techniques use a strong steel wall bracket on the exterior of the retaining wall to brace the wall and properly distribute the anchor’s clamping pressure. With both wall anchors and helical tiebacks, your foundation repair contractor will also attempt to return the wall to its original position, restoring its appearance and structural integrity.

How Are Retaining Walls Repaired?

To repair retaining walls, we at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions typically recommend either wall anchors/braces or helical tiebacks to restore structural integrity.

Wall Anchors for Retaining Wall Repair

Wall anchors are used to stabilize retaining walls by extending out to stable, hard-packed soil, anchoring themselves there and bracing the wall. This halts the inward movement of the wall and provides an opportunity for the wall to be straightened over time. 

Helical Anchors for Retaining Wall Repair

Similar to wall anchors, helical anchors stabilize failing retaining walls by extending to stable soil and bracing the wall. This method of repair is ideal for situations where access is limited. Wall anchors are generally the more economical solution to repairing a retaining wall. However, in some cases, wall anchor installation is not a possibility, and helical anchor installation must be considered. This includes situations where the rocky soil is an issue, or when space restrictions make augering a hole beyond the retaining wall an impractical solution. Your foundation repair specialist will be able to advise you on the most appropriate solution for you.

Learn about our foundation wall anchor systems.

Retaining Wall Methods to Avoid

When it comes to repairing your retaining wall, some methods are better than others. Although some contractors may offer the following solutions, we recommend avoiding them. 

1. Retaining Wall Replacement

At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we only recommend retaining wall replacement in the extreme circumstances. In most cases, removing and rebuilding a retaining wall is an expensive process that involves major excavation, disruption to landscaping, and heavy equipment.

2. Corrosive Wall Anchors

Because wall anchors are exposed to the elements, they should be well-made and treated to resist corrosion. If corrosive or poor quality wall anchors are used, it could lead to a decrease in property value or worse—the anchors failing. 

helical tieback

(Above) A wall anchor system relies on the fixed position of an earth anchor and clamping pressure from an anchor rod. (Below) A helical anchor system utilizes helix-shaped plates welded to the anchor shaft to pull the anchor deep into the soil. 

Call AquaGuard for Retaining Wall Repair in GA!

At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we provide long-lasting, warrantied solutions for retaining wall repair throughout Northern Georgia and the Atlanta area. For homeowners interested in learning more about their unique problem, we offer free, no-obligation written quotes. To schedule an appointment, call us today!

AquaGuard repairs retaining walls all throughout the Atlanta area. We also proudly serve Marietta, Cartersville, Rome, Canton, Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, Gainesville, Athens, Conyers, Peachtree City, Carrollton, and everywhere in between!