7 Steps To Repairing A Leaning Or A Collapsed Retaining Wall

This Is How We Fix Stone Retaining Walls For Clients Around Kansas City, Missouri
Leveling a stone retaining wall

It’s scary when you notice your stone retaining wall is leaning or collapsing. It isn’t supposed to do that!

In this post, you can find out what can cause retaining walls to fail. You can also find out how we fix them when they’re leaning or collapsing.

It’s Failing!

“Our retaining wall is failing harder than I did in physics,” sighs Michael.

“Then how hasn’t it fallen or crumbled already?” teases Jennifer. Michael snorts a laugh. “Beats me. I wonder what’s causing it to fail?” he wonders aloud.

Jennifer shrugs. “ I know about as much on that as I do on how to repair a stone retaining wall. Which, to be clear, is nothing.” Michael nods. “Same here. We might not need a pro to fix it if we look up the steps on Google,” he says as he takes his phone from his pocket.

“Great idea!” -says Jennifer as she takes her phone out too- “I’ll start looking into the stone retaining wall installers in Kansas City.”

Here’s what Michael finds out:

What Can Cause Stone Retaining Walls To Fail

This list ranks the causes for a failing retaining wall in order from most to least common:

  1. Bad subgrade/footing under the wall
  2. Improper drainage. This can cause water to push against the wall and wear it down. It can also make the soil behind it heavier, which can push it over.
  3. Improper backfill procedures
  4. Incorrect materials. Some people may use softer stones that’ll crumble. They may also use top row stones for the base and base stones for the top.
  5. Trying to build decks or structures on top of a wall that’s not made to support that weight

How To Fix A Leaning Retaining Wall

Old overgrown stone retaining wall
  1. Take the wall apart
  2. Take note of how the stones are put together in row and order
  3. Replace any failing stones
  4. Inspect the subgrade
  5. Take corrective measures
  6. Compact the subgrade
  7. Rebuild like normal

Taking down the wall is part of how to fix a leaning stone retaining wall because it's likely the subgrade, or footing, is failing. This is often what causes the leaning. We have to get to it to fix it, which means we have to take down the wall.

How To Repair A Collapsed Stone Retaining Wall

Collapsing stone retaining wall
  1. Take the wall down
  2. Remember how the stones are put together in row and order
  3. Replace any stones as needed
  4. Analyze to see what caused the collapse
  5. Fix whatever caused the wall to fail
  6. Compact the subgrade
  7. Rebuild

You May Also Like To Know

“I knew stone retaining wall repair would be somewhat complicated, but I didn’t know they’d have to take the wall down,” sighs Michael. Jennifer shrugs. “Well, at least it won’t be an eyesore anymore, or a safety hazard,” she points out. Michael nods. “I’m going to see what else is on this blog while I’m here. Might find out something interesting.”