Retaining Wall Construction Question


L

L W

Our backyard retaining wall is deteriorating and needs to be
replaced. It’s 4’ high and about 30’ long. We believe it’s stone
(with mortar) covered by a layer of concrete. Most of the wall is
outside, but a section of the wall supports a furnace room. (The
furnace room is connected to the house, but there’s no access to the
furnace room from inside the house). Some contractors have
recommended installing a poured concrete wall. Some contractors have
recommended installing 10” CMU blocks filled with concrete and rebar.
Some contractors have recommended replacing only the exterior portion
of the wall with modular block (Versa-Lok, Mesa Wall, Unilock, etc.)
and using rebar to tie into the existing section in the furnace room.
What’s the best solution? We’re in New York state, so freezing in the
Winter is an issue. Thanks very much!
 
J

jloomis

I am sure you looked up Versa Lok
It is pretty interesting and I have used it.
It also requires a mat (geo grid)at 2' increments to help stabilize high
walls.
I do not know how you would tie it into the existing though. It is a
retaining wall on its own.
Maybe just pour a retaining wall either masonry units or a poured wall at
the furnace room and then do block from that?
Versa Lok, is fine on its own but I am not sure if you start trying to
attach it to an existing wall?
What about going infront of the furnace room/retaining wall with Vers Lok
and back fill with gravel.
That is where most of the problems occur is when no drainage is built into
the backside of a retaining wall.
Now you have ice to worry about too????
Look up Versa Lok and see if they work with ice conditions.
john

"L W" wrote in message

Our backyard retaining wall is deteriorating and needs to be
replaced. It’s 4’ high and about 30’ long. We believe it’s stone
(with mortar) covered by a layer of concrete. Most of the wall is
outside, but a section of the wall supports a furnace room. (The
furnace room is connected to the house, but there’s no access to the
furnace room from inside the house). Some contractors have
recommended installing a poured concrete wall. Some contractors have
recommended installing 10” CMU blocks filled with concrete and rebar.
Some contractors have recommended replacing only the exterior portion
of the wall with modular block (Versa-Lok, Mesa Wall, Unilock, etc.)
and using rebar to tie into the existing section in the furnace room.
What’s the best solution? We’re in New York state, so freezing in the
Winter is an issue. Thanks very much!
 
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T

Tom Cular

I agree with John that connecting a versa-lok or similar block wall into an
existing retaining wall presents issues, with any decision you come to, add
weep drains and granular fill to allow water to escape from behind the wall.
Hydrostatic pressure behind the wall can and probably cause it to fail. A
few years ago the company I was with (we didn't do the original
construction) cleaned up and replaced about 1/2 mile of retaining wall
30-40' high that was built without the granular backfill that should have
been used to allow drainage. That screw up closed an interstate just outside
of D.C for almost a week not to mention the $$$
 

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