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Retaining wall failure

Retaining walls can fail for  many reasons and this doesn't always result in a sudden failure or collapse.  Often a failing retaining wall provides many signs of deterioration or warning signs long before a total failure or collapse.  Here a few reasons why and warning signs of failing retaining walls.

Reasons for failure

  • Improper reinforcement
  • Design errors
  • Improper construction practices
  • Foundation issues
  • Deteriorated materials
  • Saturated backfill

Warning signs of failure

  • Flexural or shear cracking
  • Wall is bowed outward
  • Settled structures adjacent
  • Efflorescence
  • Deteriorated materials
  • Foundation issues
  • Deteriorated or crumbling materials
  • Saturated backfill


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