A 30 year old concrete retaining wall is showing signs of age:

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enter image description here

What can be done to:

  1. halt the deformation of the blocks & wall?
  2. restore the wall to a state closer to 'new'?

2 Answers 2


Not age so much as settling in the footing. You'd see the same thing in a new wall in similar circumstances.

You have two options:

  1. Replace the entire wall section, say 15 feet out from the corner both ways, including the footing, to try and be sure that it won't move further. You'll examine the soil under the current footing and possibly improve it, making sure to compact thoroughly. This is obviously a substantial job and would take several days.

  2. Remove and repair just the broken block, hoping that all settling that will occur has occurred, and that the footings are in their final resting place, so to speak. A good mason or bricklayer can do that job in a few hours. A mortar hack like me would take the wall apart such that it's a stair-step all the way up (to avoid tuck-pointing) and might take a day.


A retaining wall should lean towards the high side, any that leans the other way is doomed.

It looks like it rains there (or someone has been watering the weeds) and your retaining wall seems to be missing any drain holes... it sure looks like it wasn't done right.

there's a crack in the corner but that's mostly cosmetic, unreinforced CMUs have no real strength.

Cheap solution pile rubble against the wall until it stops falling over. this means it's no longer a retaining wall, but instead a berm and the problem evaporates..

Proper solution do-over but do it right this time.

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