If your location is on higher ground, for example, the property is much higher than the street. Therefore, you need to prevent soil erosion with a retaining wall because you do not want your property to end up on the road below.
Technically, a retaining wall is a vertical structure that holds the soil behind the wall and prevents the soil from moving. With a retaining wall, you can create different elevations to make the property look better. You can find the types of retaining walls on the jpconcrete.co.uk website.
You can find retaining walls near the sea, or any body of water to ensure the soil will not end up in the water.
The height of retaining walls varies. You can have walls that are only one (.30 metre) or two feet (.61 metre) high. There also retaining walls that are around fifty feet (15.2 metres) or higher. If your retaining wall is about two metres high, you do not need an engineer to design it. However, if it is higher, the community will require you to hire an engineer to design the wall and secure a permit. Hiring an engineer ensures your retaining wall can withstand the pressure created by the soil on the wall.
Why do some retaining walls fail?
You erect a retaining wall thinking that it will be sturdy enough to withstand the force the soil creates on the wall. But there could be other reasons why a retaining wall fails. It could be the result of improper wall construction or inadequate wall design.
Another reason a retaining wall might fail is the wrong selection of the wall size or type. It makes the structure insufficient to withstand the force of the soil behind it.
The failure could be the result of the contractor not installing sufficient drainage behind the wall. When you install a retaining wall, you have to ensure there is sufficient drainage. This is to prevent the wall from holding backwater as well, which will add considerable weight to the soil. It means an additional weight will be put on the wall.
Signs that the retaining wall is failing
You can find some signs that the retaining wall is failing. Look for signs of cracking, tilting of the wall and deflection or bulging of the face of the wall. Make sure you find a professional to evaluate the retaining wall if you see any of these signs.
The signs of failure are often due to the movement of the soil. The movement causes damage to any structure that the soil supports. If the damage is unrepaired immediately, the wall may collapse. The collapse can lead to more damage to the structures within the wall, the property occupants, and other persons around the vicinity.
Can you file a legal claim as a result of the failure of a retaining wall?
Before you can file a claim, you should first consult an engineer or a construction defect lawyer. You have to prove the failure was a result of the contractor’s negligence. The investigation process can be lengthy, as there are several aspects to consider.
Make sure you work with a qualified engineer or construction defect lawyer so that you know if someone is liable for the failure of the retaining wall.