For a sloped piece of land, a retaining wall adds so much practical value—and beauty too. It keeps your soil in place, aids in proper drainage, and creates a touch of charm! So, it pays to take good care of it—and that means establishing a proper maintenance routine. What steps will keep your retaining wall in top shape—so you get lasting value out of it? We’re glad you asked! With these tips we’ve listed here, you’re sure to enjoy a strong, lovely retaining wall that makes it easy to use your outdoor spaces to their best effect.
7 Tips for Maintaining Your Retaining Wall
1. Regularly Inspect Your Wall
It makes sense to keep an eye on your property to address small issues quickly, right? This includes giving your retaining wall a little TLC. Do a visual inspection of the wall at least once a year. What you’re looking for is anything that seems like it needs attention—such as loose stones, missing mortar, or signs of erosion.
2. Keep Drainage Pipes Clear
Part of your retaining wall system should include pipes so that water safely drains away. Regularly remove debris and watch to see that water is flowing away from your wall. If you see ponding, give us a call to check things out. Ponding or oversaturated soil can erode your wall’s stonework, as well as kill plants nearby.
3. Fill in Grass and Greenery
Your retaining wall is more effective at doing its job of keeping soil firmly in place when the entire landscaping design is maintained properly too. Why is that? Well, grass, ground cover, and plants absorb water along the wall, ensuring it performs as it should. Those roots dig in and hold the soil firmly in place, which keeps your wall in place too. Plus, those plants just look nice—a win-win, right? So, if you see bare soil near your wall, fill it in with fresh grass or greenery.
4. Get Rid of Weeds
Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine”? When it comes to weeds, that’s so true! Even small weeds are a giant enemy to your wall. They sneak their way into nooks and crannies in the wall, and then expand to cause bigger, problematic gaps. If you see weeds, remove them right away. You’ll be glad you did!
5. Promptly Address Soil Erosion
Let’s face it—wind, rain, pets, and critters digging in the dirt can all pull soil away from your retaining wall. If that wear and tear continues, you can imagine how that will erode your wall’s stone. So, how do you deal with that? It’s simple—you add dirt wherever you see it’s getting worn or washed away. This will help water drain away instead of ponding and doing damage.
6. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
During the winter months, it’s all too easy to use products like ice-melts and deicing agents to clear sidewalks and driveways. We certainly get that! Just keep in mind that many of these products are damaging to concrete, cement, and mortar. They also erode stone! So, keep them away from your retaining wall—and it’ll last longer.
7. Fix Issues and Imperfections
Keeping your wall in great shape is crucial—because small cracks, shifting stones, and worn mortar can all add up to a weakening structure that doesn’t deliver proper protection. Check for little signs that your wall has moved in any way, such as areas that bulge, lean off-kilter, or just don’t look right. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at—no problem. Just call us so we can give your retaining wall an inspection.
Safeguard Your Property with Beautiful, Lasting Retaining Walls
If you have any questions about retaining walls or want to get the opinion of a professional team on what your options are, our team at R&M Concrete would love to help provide answers that give you peace of mind. Start by checking out how our retaining walls can protect your residential or commercial property, worry-free!