retaining wall removal

Retaining Wall Removal? Here’s Your Checklist

Most retaining walls will not last forever… And sometimes making spot repairs simply won’t do any longer. Maybe a wall is crumbling from the top or cracking in the middle. Maybe it’s warped or slanting further than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or perhaps sections of it are literally coming apart at the seams—right before your eyes. When a retaining wall is no longer tenable, it is time to remove it and replace it with a new wall. But before you get a sledge hammer and start whacking away at a DIY attempt at retaining wall removal, here is a checklist to consider:

Don’t do it!

Don’t do it!

Don’t do it!

For your own safety, and the safety of the environment and other structures on your property, leave retaining wall removal to the professionals.

Repair Or Replace?

Retaining walls will usually provide some not so subtle hints that they need repairing. This is why routine inspection of any retaining wall is critical. Solving a problem before failure occurs will save you time, money and possible injury. Although, sometimes catastrophic failure of a retaining wall happens over a short amount of time due to excess rain, floods, earthquakes and faulty design.

A routine visual inspection of a retaining wall should happen at least two-four times a year, especially during the changes of seasons. Water, heat, cold and time are the biggest enemies of any retaining wall. If you observe any of the following upon your inspection, you should have repairs done immediately:  

  • Rotting wood
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Cracked bricks
  • Soil separation
  • Pooling water
  • Tilting/slanting
  • Warping

The type of repairs that can be performed on a retaining wall depend largely on the type of retaining wall that you have. Sometimes an anchor or helical tieback system can be used to repair a slanting wall. Other times you may need to replace bricks or re-concrete a surface.

However, there are times when the retaining wall is beyond repair and must be removed and replaced with a new one. Removing a retaining wall is a serious construction project that may take one or two days to complete. It will also involve construction and demolition equipment… and if not done professionally could result in injury or even death.

Another reason to use professionals to remove retaining walls is because they are built to provide some type of structural support to the adjacent soil. They also provide adequate drainage and may support nearby structures on a property.

The removal of a retaining wall without a professional analysis of the soil and nearby area could result in additional problems nearby including erosion problems, water damage and potential landslides. Removal of a retaining wall is not a weekend DIY project. Therefore, before you decide to remove a wall, consult with a professional.


Our blocks can transform any outdoor space into a unique masterpiece… The options are truly LIMITLESS. For everything you need to plan, design and build the perfect retaining wall for your next project, contact us today.

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