Many properties have a retaining wall that is designed to keep the land behind it from sliding. These walls are important for the property they are on and are often overlooked when an inspection is underway. It is important that these walls are properly inspected for a number of reasons. Lifeline Home Inspections is here to point out some of the biggest reasons you should be concerned about the inspection of a retaining wall when buying a property that has one.
Retaining Wall Problems
There are a few things that can end up going wrong with a retaining wall.
– Leaning Retaining Wall: If there is any leaning happening with a retaining wall, it should be leaning in and not out. When the wall is leaning out, it means the wall has moved and the land behind it has become too heavy for the wall to hold.
– Pests in Retaining Walls: When retaining walls are constructed using wood, there is a chance that some damage has happened due to pest problems.
– Rusting Retaining Walls: Walls build out of metal can sustain water damage in the form of rust which weakens the wall.
– Retaining Wall Drainage Issues: There should be some sort of drainage system with your wall or you are going to face problems. If you have a metal wall, you will have rust issues. With a wood wall, you will have rot problems.
Different Types of Retaining Walls
When it comes to retaining walls, there are several different types that can work effectively.
– Gravity Retaining Wall: This type of retaining wall consists of large rocks that are held in place by metal wire baskets. They are usually only used for smaller walls as there is no way to truly reinforce them.
– Cantilever Retaining Wall: Think about an upside down T. A cantilevered wall is concrete that is poured into this shape. While it is reinforced, they often end up slipping.
– Pile Retaining Wall: With large poles that are driven into the ground, these walls are then reinforced using wood, metal or concrete panels located behind the poles and secured.
– Tied-Back Retaining Wall: The last retaining wall is made of wooden or pre-fab walls that are tied back with tie-backs and deadmen.
Importance of Retaining Wall Inspections
The biggest reason that you should be concerned about having any retaining wall inspected is the fact that they can be expensive to fix when there is an issue. Not only that, but the city can demand that the repairs are made. Sometimes there is a great deal of foliage that can obscure the retaining wall, and it is important that any obstructions are removed so that a proper inspection can take place. You don’t want to purchase a property only to find that there are retaining wall issues that could set you back $20,000-$30,000 to repair.
Residential & Commercial Inspections & More in Fulton, Spalding, Coweta, Douglas, Pike, Upson & Fayette County, Georgia
At Lifeline Home Inspections, we know how important it is that your retaining walls are inspected thoroughly. We have the training and expertise needed to ensure your retaining walls are safe. Call us today!