Foundation Repair in OR and WA, including Portland, Vancouver & Salem.

Failing Retaining Walls

a retaining wall installed in Salem

Around houses, retaining walls make sloping areas usable by creating level space for gardens, driveways, terraces, and walkways.

Retaining walls are also common along roadways, parking lots, and bodies of water. They have many applications.

Basement walls are also a type of retaining wall. We have a unique system for repairing failing basement walls.

The Problem:

Your retaining wall is showing signs of failure.

What is a Retaining Wall?

Retaining walls serve to retain the lateral pressure of soil. More simply, retaining walls are used to hold back soil and substrate from moving due to the effects of gravity and erosion.

Retaining walls are typically designed out of concrete, stone, wood (including railroad ties), vinyl, masonry, steel, or brick.

Telltale Signs:

How to Fix It:

We install either a wall anchor system or helical tieback system along the retaining wall to reinforce the structure.

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We have warranted solutions for failing retaining walls! Call us for a free retaining wall repair quote today!

We serve Olympia, Salem, Medford and many nearby areas in Oregon and Washington.

Identifying Retaining Wall Failure

Signs of a failing retaining wall are usually easy to identify, as shown in the different examples below. The important thing to know is that these symptoms will become increasingly worse over time. Unless proper repairs are made, the wall will eventually fail completely.

Signs Of A Failing Retaining Wall

Most often, a retaining wall will show signs of failure in one of three ways:

a failing retaining wall around a driveway in Portland

Collapsing/Tilting Retaining Walls

Soil issues and/or poor construction are often the culprits for retaining walls that are tilting. This can happen if the footing toe is too small or if the wall wasn't properly reinforced. Railroad tie retaining walls can begin to collapse due to wood rot or deterioration.

Most retaining walls require drainage "weeps". If water accumulates behind the wall, this additional weight can cause clay soils to expand, leading to cracks and tilting.

A retaining wall separating from the adjoining walls in Chehalis

Retaining Walls Separating From Adjacent Walls

Like collapsing/tilting retaining walls, walls that are separating from adjacent walls are often caused by poor quality construction.

A separating retaining wall may have not been designed to withstand the weight that actually bears on the wall. Poor drainage and inadequate reinforcement or connection to the adjacent wall are other possible causes. In unusual cases, expansive soils may also cause a retaining wall to separate from an adjoining wall.

A collapsing, crumbling retaining wall in Grants Pass

Crumbling/Failing Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can crumble for a wide variety of reasons, most related to improper design of the walls itself.

Often, the wall was not designed to bear the weight load behind it. In the case of concrete retaining walls, the issue may be inadequate, weak, or poorly mixed concrete.

Concrete retaining walls may also have been designed with inadequate steel rebar, resulting in insufficient strength.

Repairing Retaining Walls

A diagram of a foundation wall anchor system installation.
A graphic depiction of a helical wall anchor system installation.

(Above) A wall anchor system relies on the fixed position of an earth anchor and clamping pressure from an anchor rod.

(Below) A helical anchor system utilizes helix-shaped plates welded to the anchor shaft to pull the anchor deep into the soil.

To repair retaining walls, we at TerraFirma typically recommend either wall anchors or helical tiebacks to restore structural integrity.

Both wall repair techniques use a strong steel wall bracket on the exterior of the retaining wall to brace the wall distribute the anchor's clamping pressure.

With both wall anchors and helical tiebacks, your foundation repair contractor will also attempt to return the wall to its original position, restoring its appearance and structural integrity.

Wall anchors accomplish this by driving an anchor rod through 1" holes driven into the retaining wall. These rods are connected to earth anchors that are placed within augured holes within the soil beyond the retaining wall.

Once assembled, the wall plate is installed, and the rod assembly is tightened. This can potentially straighten the wall and return it to its original position.

Helical anchors are installed from the exposed face of the retaining wall, through a hole cut in the wall. The anchor's helical blades help to pull it deep into the soil and anchor it there. After closing the hole in the retaining wall, a wall plate is installed and a nut is tightened over the protruding threaded rod to brace the wall.

Wall anchors are generally the more economical solution to repairing a retaining wall. However, in some cases, wall anchor installation is not a possibility, and helical anchor installation must be considered. This includes situations where rocky soil is an issue, or when space restrictions make auguring a hole beyond the retaining wall an impractical solution. Your foundation repair specialist will be able to advise you on the most appropriate solution for you.

Learn about our foundation wall anchor system.

What NOT To Do

Like other solutions for structural issues, you will encounter many options for repairing your retaining wall. Here are two "fixes" that we at TerraFirma do NOT recommend:

Rusted wall plate anchors in a retaining wall repair in Forest Grove.

At TerraFirma, our wall anchor systems are designed with galvanized steel to help protect from rust and corrosion.

We include a 25-year manufacturer's warranty with each installation, as well as our own installation warranty.

Removing & Rebuilding The Retaining Wall:

Unless the retaining wall is showing extensive deterioration, removing and rebuilding the walls should not be necessary.

Removing and rebuilding a retaining wall is an expensive, time-consuming process typically involves heavy equipment, major excavation and the loss of valuable landscaping features.

Poor Quality Wall Anchors:

Retaining wall anchors are exposed to the elements -- both in the soil and on the wall plates themselves. If these anchors are poorly made or not treated to resist corrosion,, they will quickly look old and unsightly. This will lower the property value possibly lead to early failure of the anchor.

We recommend installing wall anchors made with galvanized steel -- with a written warranty that stands by the product for decades to come.

We Repair Retaining Walls In OR and WA!

At TerraFirma, we provide warranted solutions for retaining wall repair throughout Oregon and Washington. For homeowners interested in learning more about their unique problem, we offer free, written retaining wall repair quotes at no obligation. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call or e-mail us today!

We proudly serve Salem, Vancouver, Portland areas such as Hillsboro, Bend, Beaverton, Corvallis, Eugene, Albany, Gresham, and nearby.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

TerraFirma Foundation Systems Inc is a BBB Accredited Foundation Contractor in Roseburg, OR
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Serving OR and WA
Our Oregon and Washington Service Area
Cities in Baker County, OR
Baker City
Halfway
Hereford
Huntington
Oxbow
Richland
Sumpter
Unity

Cities in Benton County, OR
Alsea
Blodgett
Corvallis
Monroe
Philomath

Cities in Clackamas County, OR
Beavercreek
Boring
Brightwood
Canby
Clackamas
Colton
Damascus
Eagle Creek
Estacada
Gladstone
Government Camp
Happy Valley
Lake Oswego
Molalla
Mulino
Oregon City
Portland
Rhododendron
Sandy
Welches
West Linn
Wilsonville

Cities in Clatsop County, OR
Astoria
Hammond
Seaside
Tolovana Park
Warrenton

Cities in Columbia County, OR
Clatskanie
Columbia City
Deer Island
Rainier
Saint Helens
Scappoose
Vernonia
Warren

Cities in Coos County, OR
Allegany
Bandon
Broadbent
Coos Bay
Coquille
Lakeside
Myrtle Point
North Bend
Powers

Cities in Crook County, OR
Paulina
Post
Powell Butte
Prineville

Cities in Curry County, OR
Agness
Brookings
Gold Beach
Langlois
Ophir
Port Orford
Sixes
Wedderburn

Cities in Deschutes County, OR
Bend
Brothers
La Pine
Redmond
Sisters

Cities in Douglas County, OR
Azalea
Camas Valley
Canyonville
Days Creek
Dillard
Drain
Elkton
Gardiner
Glendale
Glide
Idleyld Park
Myrtle Creek
Oakland
Reedsport
Riddle
Roseburg
Scottsburg
Sutherlin
Tenmile
Tiller
Umpqua
Wilbur
Winchester
Winston
Yoncalla

Cities in Gilliam County, OR
Arlington
Condon

Cities in Grant County, OR
Bates
Prairie City

Cities in Harney County, OR
Burns
Drewsey
Fields
Hines
Princeton
Riley

Cities in Hood River County, OR
Cascade Locks
Hood River
Mount Hood Parkdale
Odell

Cities in Jackson County, OR
Ashland
Butte Falls
Central Point
Eagle Point
Gold Hill
Jacksonville
Medford
Phoenix
Prospect
Rogue River
Shady Cove
Talent
Trail
White City

Cities in Jefferson County, OR
Ashwood
Camp Sherman
Culver
Madras
Terrebonne
Warm Springs

Cities in Josephine County, OR
Cave Junction
Grants Pass
Kerby
Merlin
Murphy
O Brien
Selma
Wilderville
Williams
Wolf Creek

Cities in Klamath County, OR
Beatty
Bly
Bonanza
Chemult
Chiloquin
Crater Lake
Crescent
Dairy
Fort Klamath
Gilchrist
Keno
Klamath Falls
Malin
Merrill
Midland
Sprague River

Cities in Lake County, OR
Adel
Christmas Valley
Fort Rock
Lakeview
New Pine Creek
Paisley
Plush
Silver Lake
Summer Lake

Cities in Lane County, OR
Blachly
Blue River
Cheshire
Cottage Grove
Creswell
Deadwood
Dexter
Dorena
Elmira
Eugene
Fall Creek
Florence
Junction City
Lorane
Lowell
Mapleton
Marcola
Noti
Oakridge
Pleasant Hill
Springfield
Swisshome
Thurston
Veneta
Vida
Walterville
Walton
Westfir
Westlake

Cities in Lincoln County, OR
Depoe Bay
Eddyville
Lincoln City
Logsden
Neotsu
Newport
Otis
Otter Rock
Seal Rock
Siletz
South Beach
Tidewater
Toledo
Waldport
Yachats

Cities in Linn County, OR
Albany
Brownsville
Cascadia
Foster
Halsey
Harrisburg
Lebanon
Lyons
Mill City
Scio
Shedd
Sweet Home
Tangent

Cities in Malheur County, OR
Adrian
Brogan
Harper
Ironside
Jamieson
Jordan Valley
Juntura
Nyssa
Ontario
Riverside
Vale
Westfall

Cities in Marion County, OR
Aumsville
Aurora
Detroit
Gates
Gervais
Hubbard
Idanha
Jefferson
Mount Angel
Saint Paul
Salem
Scotts Mills
Silverton
Stayton
Sublimity
Turner
Woodburn

Cities in Morrow County, OR
Boardman
Ione

Cities in Multnomah County, OR
Bridal Veil
Corbett
Fairview
Gresham
Portland
Troutdale

Cities in Polk County, OR
Dallas
Falls City
Grand Ronde
Independence
Monmouth
Rickreall
Salem

Cities in Sherman County, OR
Grass Valley
Kent
Moro
Wasco

Cities in Tillamook County, OR
Bay City
Beaver
Cloverdale
Hebo
Nehalem
Neskowin
Rockaway Beach
Tillamook

Cities in Umatilla County, OR
Umatilla

Cities in Wasco County, OR
Antelope
Dufur
Maupin
Mosier
Shaniko
The Dalles
Tygh Valley

Cities in Washington County, OR
Banks
Beaverton
Buxton
Cornelius
Forest Grove
Gales Creek
Gaston
Hillsboro
Manning
North Plains
Portland
Sherwood
Timber
Tualatin

Cities in Wheeler County, OR
Fossil
Mitchell
Spray

Cities in Yamhill County, OR
Amity
Carlton
Dayton
Dundee
Lafayette
Mcminnville
Newberg
Sheridan
Willamina
Yamhill

Cities in Clark County, WA
Amboy
Battle Ground
Brush Prairie
Camas
La Center
Ridgefield
Vancouver
Washougal
Yacolt

Cities in Cowlitz County, WA
Ariel
Castle Rock
Cougar
Kalama
Kelso
Longview
Ryderwood
Silverlake
Toutle
Woodland

Cities in Grays Harbor County, WA
Aberdeen
Copalis Beach
Copalis Crossing
Cosmopolis
Elma
Grayland
Hoquiam
Mccleary
Oakville
Ocean Shores
Westport

Cities in Klickitat County, WA
Appleton
Bingen
Dallesport
Glenwood
Klickitat
Lyle
Trout Lake
White Salmon

Cities in Lewis County, WA
Centralia
Chehalis
Cinebar
Curtis
Ethel
Glenoma
Mineral
Morton
Mossyrock
Onalaska
Packwood
Pe Ell
Randle
Salkum
Silver Creek
Toledo
Vader
Winlock

Cities in Pacific County, WA
Ilwaco
Long Beach
Naselle
Ocean Park
Raymond
South Bend
Tokeland

Cities in Pierce County, WA
Ashford
Dupont
Eatonville
Elbe
Graham
Roy
Spanaway
Tacoma

Cities in Skamania County, WA
Carson
Stevenson
Underwood

Cities in Thurston County, WA
Olympia
Rainier
Rochester
Tenino
Yelm

Cities in Wahkiakum County, WA
Cathlamet
Grays River
Rosburg
Skamokawa

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