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How Can I Fix A Collapsing Retaining Wall

Retaining walls serve a structural purpose but are also a crucial part of your Ohio home’s aesthetic. If they’re damaged, cracked, or collapsed, though, they’re not just unsightly. Left unattended, they also pose a significant safety concern, affecting the value and curb appeal of your house.

The solution? The Basement Guys. We specialize in foundation and retaining wall repair and stabilization, and we know how important it is to preserve your home’s structural integrity and value.

We offer a free quote and advice for keeping your newly constructed retaining wall in great shape for years to come. Below, we provide tips for identifying the early warning signs of an imminent retaining wall collapse and explain how The Basement Guys repair collapsing retaining walls.

Call us today for a free estimate!


What Is a Collapsing Retaining Wall? 

The purpose of a retaining wall is to hold the lateral pressure of soil and strata so that sloping areas can be better used for driveways, terraces, gardens, or other landscaping and hardscaping elements. If the retaining wall fails, then the now-level ground it supports is also at risk, posing a problem for anything that relies on its support.

Retaining walls are intended to support soil and substrate, often to help keep a larger structure, like a home, stable. Under pressure, they may crack, bow, lean, or crumble. This, in turn, leads to damaging erosion or even landslides. Any structure that depends on the integrity of the retaining wall may also be at risk if it collapses. If your retaining wall is integral to supporting your home’s basement or foundation, then if it collapses, you may need foundation repair or basement repair.

What Causes a Retaining Wall to Collapse? 

A retaining wall can collapse for many reasons, including:

  • Poor Construction: Using shoddy materials, sloppy workmanship, or poor technique can weaken the wall’s foundation and lead to collapse.
  • Hydrostatic Pressure: This is pressure from groundwater and water in the soil (especially after heavy rain or snow). More moisture causes the soil to expand, especially the clay soils of central and southern Ohio. Hydrostatic pressure can collapse the wall.
  • Soil Erosion: The soil supporting the wall’s base may erode over time, compromising its foundation.
  • Tree Roots: Tree roots cause many types of foundation issues. If a root system stretches underneath the retaining wall, the wall will lose stability as the roots grow.
  • Water Accumulation: Inadequate drainage around the wall causes excess water build-up in the soil. This pressure weakens the wall’s structural integrity.
  • Aging: materials weaken over time. Using subpar materials can accelerate the ravages of time on your retaining wall.
  • Natural Forces: Ground movements, like an earthquake or a bad storm, may damage the wall. The storm or ground movement may also cause something to fall on the retaining wall, damaging it.

Before fixing the retaining wall, it’s important to pinpoint the reason for the collapse or damage and fix that issue first. Otherwise, whatever quick fix is in place will just lead to more problems with the structure. Don’t worry – The Basement Guys provide a free quote for a complete repair.

Can You Fix a Collapsing Retaining Wall? 

Yes! However, it’s best to leave this home project to the professionals. The repair won’t last very long without accurately diagnosing the underlying issue causing the retaining wall collapse. A temporary solution like re-mortaring, sealing cracks, or adding more soil is just temporary.

Addressing the underlying cause of retaining wall failure is critical. We thoroughly inspect your home and wall to strengthen its foundation, drain excess moisture, and stabilize the soil and strata underneath the wall.


How to Fix a Collapsing Retaining Wall 

The Basement Guys understands that each home is different, so each repair we do is customized to your needs. However, fixing a retaining wall is fairly straightforward, and we often use the same techniques on many Ohio homes. This is our process:

Initial Inspection 

We can’t develop a solution until we know the extent of the problem, so The Basement Guy’s first step is a comprehensive inspection of the retaining wall and the rest of your property. Once we identify the root cause, we develop a strategy for repair to fit your needs and budget.

Wall Reinforcement 

We install sturdy wall anchors at specific points along the wall to reinforce the wall. These permanently stabilize the wall, stop its movement, and improve its overall condition.

Our installation process goes like so:

  • Dig a few feet away from the retaining wall
  • Dig a hole or multiple holes in the wall
  • Push a connecting rod through each hole
  • Embed the earth anchor plate in the excavated trench near the wall
  • Attach the rod to the earth anchor plate
  • Add wall plates to the retaining wall
  • Connect the wall plates and rod
  • Backfill the excavated dirt
  • Final tightening of the wall plate and rod to ensure it lasts

Drainage Improvement 

Proper drainage solves a lot of retaining wall (and foundation) issues. Exterior drainage systems like gutters and downspouts properly channel water away from your house and retaining wall.

The Basement Guys design custom solutions for each homeowner’s needs. We believe in using the best materials available and train our teams on the latest techniques to ensure that each job is guaranteed to last for years.

Why Address a Collapsing Retaining Wall Now 

Time does not heal a damaged retaining wall. In fact, the longer you let the problem fester, the worse (and more expensive) the repairs will get. There are a few good reasons to fix a retaining wall at the first sign of damage, including:

  • Leaning walls detract from your curb appeal and house value
  • Crumbling or a collapsed wall causes extensive property and landscaping damage
  • Poor drainage from a collapsed wall may cause flooding
  • Repairs are more invasive and expensive the longer you wait – you may have to pay to replace it entirely instead of just being repaired
  • Any patio, driveway, landscaping, or other structure may become unstable

Choose The Basement Guys integrated retaining wall repair system as your long-term solution. We have a comprehensive warranty to guarantee that each job is done correctly the first time and that your home and property are protected.

Contact The Basement Guys for Retaining Wall Stabilization Solutions

Have you noticed signs of a compromised retaining wall, like bowing, leaning, cracking, or buckling? It’s time for a call to The Basement Guys, Ohio’s premier retaining wall repair service. We offer a free inspection for each job and will develop a customized approach to address the underlying problems with the wall.

We prioritize your safety and peace of mind while helping you preserve your home’s value. Our work is supported by a comprehensive warranty. Call us today—don’t deal with fixing your retaining wall!


While not strictly speaking a foundation problem, failing retaining walls can be repaired by piering and anchoring techniques similar to foundations and basement walls.

Yes, failing retaining walls can be very dangerous indeed. If you park your vehicle on or under them, they could fall and cause damage and serious bodily injury. It’s something to take very seriously and to address quickly.

DIY solutions are strong discouraged. In the event that your temporary or surface-level repair doesn’t work, the risks increase, and the damage could be far worse in the long run. Call a professional like The Basement Guys immediately if your retaining wall is threatening to collapse.

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Kent, OH

429 Portage Blvd
Kent, OH 44240