Retaining walls serve an important purpose — they contain soil and prevent erosion while retaining the difference in the level ground. And, for some properties, they’re installed to simply enhance the aesthetics of the exterior. Either way, performing some regular maintenance is always recommended to prevent any damage from occurring to the wall structure. To get yours ready for the winter, here are some tips for retaining wall upkeep for colder weather.
Inspect Drainage & Repair if Necessary
Whether you have a big retaining wall or a smaller one, having adequate drainage is important. That’s because saturated soil becomes very heavy, and it can place a whole lot of extra weight on the wall. If your wall is old or hasn’t been designed to allow water to percolate and drain through it properly, it can cause the wall to deteriorate. So keep an eye on it regularly.
Check for Excessive Settling
As moisture and soil mix and move, the retaining wall will naturally shift and resettle. However, too much movement can highlight a problem. Inspect it for any low lying areas. If you notice some, dig out the soil and mulch to replace it with new soil or gravel and a wall liner. This will help fix the grading issue and prevent shifting.
Maintain Surrounding Landscape
Believe it or not, your surface treatments, like the grass, vegetation, and ground cover, play an important role in protecting retaining walls. The vegetation helps to capture and absorb water while preventing soil erosion. So keeping your turf in good condition is necessary for protecting your wall. Take a walk through to see what areas could use new sod, seed, and attention to encourage better growth once the spring arrives next year.
Avoid Using Salt or Deicers Near Wall
During the winter, try to avoid placing any salt or deicer on or near the wall as these can damage the surface of it. Avoid piling any snow and salt residue on or near the wall. Instead, redirect it away so it can eventually melt without impact it.
You may not give your retaining wall much thought, but it plays an important role in stabilizing the ground level and landscape around it. To have your wall inspected, or to have your retaining wall upkeep for the cold weather taken care of for you, give us a call! Our team at Grow Green can perform any maintenance or repairs that it may need.