In the home my wife and I recently purchased, I noticed more and more dirt pouring out of one side of our retaining wall surrounding our driveway. It occurs right at the seam where the retaining wall meets the rest of the house

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I'm not sure if a squirrel might be digging in there, if the rain is washing it out, or what.

Is this any cause for concern? Should I take any action to prevent / fix this? Is it indicative of any deeper problems?

If it helps, here's an image of the top of the retaining wall, looking down into the driveway

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  • does not look like a problem ... the sand is simply flowing out the hole ... you could try to drive a PVC pipe or a metal pipe vertically into the corner so that it plugs the hole from the back of the wall .... or you could dig down in the corner an hang landscape fabric so that it keeps sand from escaping
    – jsotola
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 22:36
  • Hello and welcome.Why is so much water pooling up in area?And are you in a area that has freezing temps? Something is undermining wall needs to be fixed soon .
    – user101687
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 22:40
  • Also looks like the first three blocks of your house foundation are broken.
    – user101687
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


That small pile of dirt is an indication that moisture is behind your wall and is “escaping” by coming out from between the two walls. As the water runs out, it washes some dirt (fine particles) with it.

If you look closely, you’ll notice there is some very small amounts of soil washing out between the joints of the “stack block” wall too. (If you notice, there is more dirt lower on the wall, because the water “escapes” at the lower levels where there is more pressure.)

The wall on the left is made to be solid and not allow any seepage, but the stack block wall on the right is made to allow water to seep through the joints.

If you plug the joint between the two walls, additional water and dirt will seep through the stack wall joints...you probably won’t notice the difference.

Long term, water will continue washing soil out in order to reduce pressure on the wall. It’s annoyingly to clean up every year or so, but it’s not alarming.

  • If landscape fabric was installed would help with some sand and water drain out cleaner.Need to fill corner with proper filler and seal corner inside to keep water out so ice does not blow wall apart
    – user101687
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 22:56
  • @RobertMoody “Keep water out”? There’s a flower planter directly above. Fabric won’t keep the water out.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 23:00
  • 1
    Were have i said that ? Fabric lets water out keeps dirt in a filter.
    – user101687
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 23:11

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