Paver Pete explains possible causes for failure of a segmental retaining wall.
This wall was constructed a few years ago, and after some time, water started coming through the face of the wall. Water coming through the face is indicative of drainage issues behind the wall.
We need to prevent this situation from happening as poor drainage can lead to hydrostatic pressure which will cause the wall to fail.
As we excavated, we identified three of the potential causes:
- Absence of a drain tile behind the wall. The water is not being directed to where it should go, and a drain tile helps us achieve that. The construction of a drain tile is a topic that we have covered before.
- Absence of a geotextile fabric separating the topsoil from the column of clean stone behind the wall. Over time, the topsoil migrated into that compaction zone, reducing its ability to drain water.
- Not enough clean stone behind the wall. A column of ASTM C 2940 stone with a minimum depth of 12” increases drainage, greatly facilitates the compaction of backfill, and adds integrity to the wall.
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