How to repair Cinder Block Long driveway wall that has a break in it

Long Wall's Avatar (by Gravatar) by Long Wall in  Masonry » Concrete 

Hi HOH People:

We have a long (circa 100 feet) low lying cinder block wall along a driveway on a slight slope. Originally built in a straight line, but wriggles a bit here and there....

The wall is so long its seen various sections of it undergo repairs when I was younger and stronger or we were able to hire people we could trust to repair the wall with honest estimates.

Now there is a huge gaping hole in the cinder blocks that you can see through to the other side (not our property so we can't let the wall just fall down!)

I took some photos to help you visualize the condition but some additional facts might help.

You should know that prior to December 2013, the driveway was "perfect" up to edge of bottom of wall. But during this past winter, the snow shoveling people continually hit the wall, so there is that gap between asphalt patching and base of wall which can be filled and patched when the wall is repaired.

There was some "paint" on the wall that over the years slowly stretched out (I found an older photo showing the paint slowly stretched out). This shows the wall was very imperceptibly moving toward the neighbor's property. So slow that the layers of paint just stretched out and held the wall together so it was not a crisis.

Now that the many layers of paint has been breached by the winter of ice and snow and ice choppers/shovels used on the snow the wall has this huge hole!

Important other facts to know:
The wall does not have a "foundation". The wall never had "weep holes". The Driveway does not have "dead men" bricks/blocks or beams underneath to support the wall. There are no stakes in the wall as other repairers found out there might be solid rock under most of the wall so that is why the original builders never were able to create a foundation there!

Ok, so what are my choices?

I've so many questions..... Do I fill up the open spaces in the cinder blocks with anything? They never were filled with anything . Over the years in this spot, I've tossed in some broken pieces of other cinder blocks large size, but wondering if I should fill the space completely with gravel? Or block it up 100% with cement.

But then I wonder if the cement would not allow water if it did get in there from the driveway (top drainage or underneath as there is already two layers of driveway built up everywhere)---to "expand" when hot/cold cycles of weather and would burst open the newly repaired wall faster?

Is there any way I can repair it without taking off the cinder blocks? I can't swing a sledge hammer like before!

On the (left side in photos) end away from the break you can see my attempt at older shifting of the wall, looks perfect there! I know its off angle but I repaired it with cement and paint and never had to move a single cinder block.

Wrote a lot to give you the whole story before you respond and I have to fill in more details. If I think of more I'll add them in...

We had many people come to give estimates for re paving the driveway. Certainly reasonable, But then they look at the wall, and no foundation, no "dead men" under it or rebar or supports and they say if they remove the driveway to do a new one the wall , all 100 feet will fall down (on neighbor's property of course). So we cannot repair driveway as the costs then skyrocket and building codes here refuse to build a new wall without a foundation (even railroad ties need stakes and rock under it would create a potential blasting situation!).

First two photos show wall as I last painted it in October, with White Primer before the color went on.

The other photos show various views of the damage to the wall (I have behind the wall photos from before if anyone needs to see them)

Thanks for reading and helping!

Know the answer or have a comment? Post it here!

Answer by

Long Wall here:
Sorry everyone! My images have posted to this site before, but I'm doing something wrong. They are 2.7 , 2.5 ,1.6 MB etc that range in size, below the 3.0 maximum size. I don't know how to shrink them further. They are all .jpg (sorry to put computer question in the Concrete area, but maybe someone can help me post about 5-6 photos so everyone can see the before and after damage. I tried again to post it below and got red warning sign it was not going to post. Other times all 6 uploaded perfectly and just didn't post!


Answer by homeowners

Hello Long Wall, sorry about the issues with images. Not exactly sure what happened, but can you try to post them individually, rather than all 6, using replies to this thread?

Answer by

Thanks Home Owner:

Here is older photo number 1 with primer paint white spots where green paint was wearing off this past Fall.

I got this reply when I tried to post:

Unfortunately your image upload failed. Please verify that your image is under 2MB. If you continue seeing this error, please try again later.

Properties: 2.68 MB and .jpg format

Answer by

Long Wall trying to post photos:

Here is older photos number 1 and 2 with primer paint white spots where green paint was wearing off this past Fall.

Answer by

Long Wall here with more info:
Just re read the error message.... Original instructions on your site say if the image is less than 3.0, but this error message says it has to be less than 2.0!! MB
Sorry about that!
But I know from another site-----when I try to reduce it and say its "for Email" it becomes smaller size like 64kb!! and appears like a totally unreadable "thumbnail size"----
I do have "dropbox" to make a link, but unfortunately (see my postings on some computer forums) I've reached the limit of my laptop's internal drive and if I make it larger, then my backup drive has to be enlarged too as well! So I can't make any more deliveries to the dropbox until I settle that problem...
Let me try editing the photo and see if it shrinks it down more and try again!
Thanks for everyone's patience, I hope its worth it!

Answer by

Long Wall here with the photos of current state of wall.
Four more general views

Answer by

Sorry was only to be 5 photos, not in right order as had trouble uploading, but you get the idea if you piece them together in a row. Thanks!

Answer by

Long Wall:

Here is a 5 photo sequence of worst of the break from "left to right" close up views.

Hope this helps since you can't be here!

Remember I have more longer sequences of wall from good to bad to good spot again, as well as reverse side of wall showing my earlier repairs back there if anyone wants to see them.

I'll pause now in posting photos, since they work now!


Answer by

Hello everyone, Long Wall here.....
No one is answering my questions?
Should I have retitled it "How do I Repair...." I guess the title makes it seem like I'm giving the advice on how to repair this?
Anyone's opinion at what I should do now that no one has replied to my questions?

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