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!