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Retaining Wall breakdown progress

I wanted to replace the posts on my porch but the retaining wall was getting dangerously close to them so I had to address it first.

I started taking it down and I believe I may have bit off more than I can chew. I didn't expect it to have much drainage considering how much the wall has leaned in the few years I have lived here and the drainage rocks I have found is very deep and is under the corner of the fence. It is also surrounded in mesh which I suspect held dirt and wouldn't let water go through well.

The bottom three rows are very glued together and I can't budge them off of each other. I think I should clear out the dirt from behind the wall and then try to push the bricks back in place, then realign the higher bricks.

I suppose what I'd do is:

  1. Get some wood and screw it into the fence to support that post more, or create some tension to keep it hanging there by tying it to the two posts further up.
  2. Clear out the rocks on top
  3. Clear out dirt
  4. Empty out all of the drainage rocks
  5. Check for drainage pipe of some sort and either replace or get one
  6. Lay base for drainage pipe
  7. Add drainage hole on the side near the drain on my patio?
  8. Add the drainage pipe from above
  9. Get some geogrid and rebuild the wall using it loosely following this video
  10. Fill up rocks and dirt as they were before using geogrid on the way.

Am I correct? Am I doing anything wrong? How do I handle the glued together bricks?

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  • Is there a question, or just sharing the work you have to do
    – Traveler
    Sep 13, 2023 at 19:41
  • I'm asking if that is correct. I added some questions.
    – Elias
    Sep 13, 2023 at 20:25
  • Does your slab have a drain in it anywhere?
    – Huesmann
    Sep 14, 2023 at 12:53
  • @Huesmann it does not. I thought about adding one along with the drain pipe in the drainage rocks when I rebuild.
    – Elias
    Sep 14, 2023 at 14:02
  • So any water rolling off the lawn and through/over the wall ends up on your slab? Where does it go from there?
    – Huesmann
    Sep 15, 2023 at 11:56

1 Answer 1

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Your plan looks ok, but :

The original wall is perfect if standing free on both sides. You do not have that. You have the high dirt pushing against it. In that case you would build a retainer wall. Those are slanting towards the hill. The bricks used are nice but not so good for retainer wall.

You can still use existing bricks, but lay each brick layer about 1/4 inch back from the previous one. That will give you a wall leaning towards the hill. That will also address the post to close problem.

As for the behind the wall drain, where do you drain it is your decision.

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  • I would add using something like Loctite P500 or similar.
    – Cheery
    Sep 13, 2023 at 21:32
  • Is the downspout exiting on to the patio a good idea?
    – RMDman
    Sep 13, 2023 at 21:35
  • Should I even do a drain if I do the geogrid properly? I do think the wall was cascaded in the way you mentioned but leaned over time. I'm not sure when it was installed but I believe it was at least 20 years ago.
    – Elias
    Sep 13, 2023 at 22:19
  • @Elias if it leaned, then the foundation was not good, like 2-4 inches concrete footing. I can not comment on should you drain it or not, it depends how much water you get. From the picture it does not look like it was cacaded.
    – Traveler
    Sep 13, 2023 at 22:24
  • 1
    @Elias sorry wrong words on my side, there is a large gap between the wall and the hill, filled with rocks (I call it sink hole)
    – Traveler
    Sep 14, 2023 at 1:58

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