I live in the middle of a fairly steep hill. Downside is my
driveway. Holding the driveway in place is a retainer wall
approximately 4 feet high by 50 feet long. The wall is tipping and I
have about a 4 inch space between the concrete driveway and the wall.
The wall is the end of the backyard to a neighbors house about 50 feet
downhill. If the wall goes, so does my driveway and possibly my
Who do I call to repair? Is there a specialist? Costs? Any info /
ideas are appreciated. I don't think it will survive a winter here in
Pennsylvania. Homeowners insurance?
I'd start with foundation repair experts.
It ain't gonna be cheap. They'll probably have to long (20') install anchors
under your driveway (there goes the concrete) to prevent the wall from
tipping further. Perhaps drains to minimize future pressure.
Really dunno, but do get expert advice.
What's the construction of the wall--poured concrete, brick/stone, wood, ...
Any idea what it is sitting on, foundation-wise?
How to repair would depend largely on how it was built. It might end up
being easier to take it down and do another, depending on what the
problem really is.
Any retaining wall over 4 feet will need an engineer's stamp on
the drawings at your city permit desk (plan and review). This
should provide your best point of beginning. None of us can see
the problem, know the local soils, or provide the best solutions.
An early call to you insurance carrier may even provide a
recommendation for an engineer as well as providing input about
Things to discuss:
Will you be able to continue to use the roadbed while the work
Can you save what you do have or will you need to completely
replace? There are deadman and auger anchors that can be
installed to help hold the hillside. This approach would be
subject to your original wall's construction and condition.
Is the house and/or neighbor in jeopardy?
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
The wall is cinderblock. I will not be able to use the driveway while
being worked on but there is no real need to use it.
I think if the wall collapses or is removed the concrete drivewai is a
goner. Under the driveway there must be regular dirt.
The neighbors house is not in jeopardy, it is at least 50 feet away. I
will call my insurance company for advise. I will also call a few
retianer / foundation companies in my yellow pages.
Sell the propery now and escape?
That would seem radical solution, and it's likely a potential buyer
would either make the sale conditional on the repair or ask for a
sizable allowance for the repair if not.
A block wall may as well count on being taken down and something more
substantially built put in it's place if it's already as far gone as you
say. It probably didn't have any lateral support added when it was
built and with little structural strength in that direction, pulling it
back into place isn't likely to be a practical solution.
It would be quite unusual for the driveway to actually fail immediately
even if the wall were removed. It should be too difficult for somebody
to pour a decent footing if the existing one isn't sufficient and either
pour a wall or build a substantial one from rock or other material...
Good chance the wall has to come out and a new footing be poured and a new
wall on top of it.
What do you expect to hear from the insurance company? You want to let them
know you are being a sizable risk and want them to help? Use care there as
it may be troublesome if you call them to say your house is going to
I'd talk to a concrete/foundations contractor first, but do what you think
is right for you.
On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 12:41:06 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Drive solid steel pilings into the ground every 4 feet to a depth of
at least 100 feet, and into bedrock. Then weld 1/2" diamond plate
steel to the outside of these pilings. Pour concrete behind this wall
between the steel and your old wall. This should last at least 100
years unless there is an earthquake.
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