Maine & Portsmouth, New Hampshire Foundation Repair

Failing Retaining Walls

a retaining wall installed in Rochester

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 Rochester, Portland, Bangor, Lewiston, Dover, Waterville, Augusta, South Portland, Auburn, Biddeford, Brunswick, Saco, Scarborough, Westbrook, Sanford, Gorham, Windham and many nearby areas in Maine and New Hampshire.

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 York, Yarmouth, South Berwick, Brunswick, and Lewiston 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 Lewistown, Dover, South Portland, Saco, and Gorham 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 TC Hafford Basement Systems 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 TC Hafford Basement Systems do NOT recommend:

Rusted wall plate anchors in a retaining wall repair in Old Town.

At TC Hafford Basement Systems, 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 ME and NH!

At TC Hafford Basement Systems, we provide warranted solutions for retaining wall repair throughout Maine and New Hampshire. 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 Rochester, Portland, Bangor areas such as Waterville, Dover, Lewiston, South Portland, Auburn, Biddeford, Augusta, Saco, Brunswick, Westbrook, Scarborough, Gorham, Windham, Sanford and nearby.

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Serving ME and NH including the Greater Portland area
Our Maine and New Hampshire Service Area
Cities in Androscoggin County, ME
Auburn
Danville
Durham
East Livermore
East Poland
Greene
Leeds
Lewiston
Lisbon
Lisbon Falls
Livermore
Livermore Falls
Mechanic Falls
Minot
North Turner
Poland
Sabattus
Turner
West Minot
West Poland
Wales

Cities in Aroostook County, ME
Ashland
Benedicta
Blaine
Bridgewater
Caribou
Clayton Lake
Crouseville
Eagle Lake
Easton
Estcourt Station
Fort Fairfield
Fort Kent
Fort Kent Mills
Frenchville
Grand Isle
Houlton
Island Falls
Limestone
Madawaska
Mapleton
Mars Hill
Monticello
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Oakfield
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Perham
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Presque Isle
Saint Agatha
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Sheridan
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Sinclair
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Stockholm
Van Buren
Wallagrass
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Westfield
Wytopitlock
Allagash
Amity
Bancroft
Blanie
Cary Plantation
Castle Hill
Caswell
Chapman
Crystal
Dickey
Cyr Plantation
Dyer Brook
Garfield Plantaion
Glenwood Plantation
Hamlin
Hammond
Haynesville
Hersey
Hodgdon
Linneus
Littleton
Ludlow
Macwahoc Plantation
Masardis
Merrill
Moro Plantation
Nashville Plantation
New Canada
Portage Lake
Reed Planation
Saint John Plantation
Silver River
Smyrna
Wade
Weeksboro
Westmanland
Weston
Winterville Plantation
Woodland
Central Aroostook
Connor
Northwest Aroostook
South Aroostook
Square Lake
Madawaska Lake
Cross Lake

Cities in Cumberland County, ME
Bailey Island
Bridgton
Brunswick
Bustins Island
Cape Elizabeth
Casco
Chebeague Island
Cliff Island
Cumberland Center
Cumberland Foreside
East Baldwin
Falmouth
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Gorham
Gray
Harpswell
Harrison
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North Bridgton
North Yarmouth
Orrs Island
Peaks Island
Portland
Pownal
Raymond
Scarborough
Sebago
South Casco
South Freeport
South Portland
South Windham
Standish
Steep Falls
West Baldwin
Westbrook
Windham
Yarmouth
Baldwin
Cumberland
Frye Island

Cities in Franklin County, ME
Dryden
East Dixfield
East Wilton
Eustis
Farmington
Farmington Falls
Jay
Kingfield
New Sharon
New Vineyard
North Jay
Oquossoc
Phillips
Rangeley
Stratton
Strong
Temple
Weld
West Farmington
Wilton
Avon
Carrabassett Valley
Carthage
Chesterville
Coplin Plantation
Dallas Plantation
Industry
Madrid
Rangeley Plantation
Sandy River Plantation
Wyman
Freeman
West Central Franklin
South Franklin
North Franklin
East Central Franklin

Cities in Hancock County, ME
Aurora
Bar Harbor
Bass Harbor
Bernard
Birch Harbor
Blue Hill
Brooklin
Brooksville
Bucksport
Castine
Corea
Cranberry Isles
Deer Isle
East Blue Hill
East Orland
Ellsworth
Franklin
Frenchboro
Gouldsboro
Hancock
Harborside
Hulls Cove
Islesford
Little Deer Isle
Mount Desert
Northeast Harbor
Orland
Penobscot
Prospect Harbor
Salsbury Cove
Sargentville
Seal Cove
Seal Harbor
Sedgwick
Sorrento
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Stonington
Sullivan
Sunset
Surry
Swans Island
Winter Harbor
Amherst
Dedham
Eastbrook
Great Pond
Lamoine
Mariaville
Osborn
Otis
Tremont
Trenton
Verona
Waltham
Central Hancock
East Hancock
Northwest Hancock

Cities in Kennebec County, ME
Albion
Augusta
Belgrade
Belgrade Lakes
China Village
Clinton
East Vassalboro
East Winthrop
Farmingdale
Gardiner
Hallowell
Kents Hill
Litchfield
Manchester
Monmouth
Mount Vernon
North Monmouth
North Vassalboro
Oakland
Randolph
Readfield
South China
South Gardiner
Vassalboro
Vienna
Waterville
Wayne
Windsor
Winthrop
Benton
Chelsea
China
Fayette
Pittston
Rome
Sidney
West Gardiner
Winslow

Cities in Knox County, ME
Camden
Cushing
Friendship
Glen Cove
Hope
Isle Au Haut
Matinicus
North Haven
Owls Head
Port Clyde
Rockland
Rockport
South Thomaston
Spruce Head
Tenants Harbor
Thomaston
Union
Vinalhaven
Warren
Washington
West Rockport
Appleton
Matinicus Isle
Saint George
Criehaven

Cities in Lincoln County, ME
Alna
Boothbay
Boothbay Harbor
Bremen
Bristol
Chamberlain
Coopers Mills
Damariscotta
Dresden
East Boothbay
Edgecomb
Isle Of Springs
Jefferson
Monhegan
New Harbor
Newcastle
Nobleboro
Pemaquid
Round Pond
South Bristol
Southport
Squirrel Island
Trevett
Waldoboro
Walpole
West Boothbay Harbor
Whitefield
Wiscasset
Monhegan Island
Somerville
Westport

Cities in Oxford County, ME
Andover
Bethel
Brownfield
Bryant Pond
Buckfield
Canton
Center Lovell
Denmark
Dixfield
East Andover
Fryeburg
Greenwood
Hanover
Hebron
Hiram
Lovell
Mexico
Newry
North Waterford
Norway
Oxford
Paris
Peru
Porter
Roxbury
Rumford
South Paris
Stoneham
Sumner
Waterford
West Bethel
West Paris
Bryon
Gilead
Hartford
Lincoln Plantation
Magalloway Plantation
Otisfield
Stow
Sweden
Upton
Woodstock
South Oxford
North Oxford
Milton

Cities in Penobscot County, ME
Bangor
Bradford
Bradley
Brewer
Burlington
Carmel
Charleston
Corinna
Corinth
Dexter
Dixmont
East Millinocket
East Newport
Eddington
Etna
Exeter
Garland
Greenbush
Hampden
Holden
Howland
Hudson
Kenduskeag
Kingman
Lagrange
Lee
Levant
Lincoln
Mattawamkeag
Medway
Milford
Millinocket
Newport
Old Town
Orono
Orrington
Passadumkeag
Patten
Plymouth
Springfield
Stacyville
Stetson
Stillwater
West Enfield
Winn
Alton
Carroll Plantation
Chester
Clifton
Drew Plantation
Edinburg
Enfield
Glenburn
Hermon
Indian Island
Lakeville
Lowell
Maxfield
Mount Chase
Newburgh
Seboeis Plantation
Veazie
Webster Plantation
Woodville

Cities in Piscataquis County, ME
Abbot
Brownville
Brownville Junction
Dover Foxcroft
Greenville
Greenville Junction
Guilford
Milo
Monson
Sangerville
Sebec
Shirley Mills
Atkinson
Beaver Cove
Bowerbank
Dover
Kingsbury Plantation
Lake View Plantation
Medford
Parkmand
Wellington
Willimantic

Cities in Sagadahoc County, ME
Bath
Bowdoin
Bowdoinham
Georgetown
Phippsburg
Richmond
Sebasco Estates
Topsham
Woolwich
Arrowsic
West Bath
Perkins

Cities in Somerset County, ME
Anson
Athens
Bingham
Cambridge
Canaan
Caratunk
Detroit
Fairfield
Harmony
Hartland
Hinckley
Jackman
Madison
New Portland
Norridgewock
North Anson
Palmyra
Pittsfield
Rockwood
Saint Albans
Shawmut
Skowhegan
Smithfield
Solon
West Forks

Cities in Waldo County, ME
Belfast
Brooks
Burnham
Frankfort
Freedom
Islesboro
Liberty
Lincolnville
Lincolnville Center
Monroe
Morrill
Palermo
Sandy Point
Searsmont
Searsport
Stockton Springs
Thorndike
Troy
Unity
Winterport
Belmont
Jackson
Knox
Montville
Northport
Prospect
Swanville
Waldo

Cities in Washington County, ME
Addison
Baileyville
Beals
Brookton
Calais
Cherryfield
Columbia Falls
Cutler
Danforth
Dennysville
East Machias
Eastport
Grand Lake Stream
Harrington
Jonesboro
Jonesport
Lambert Lake
Lubec
Machias
Machiasport
Meddybemps
Milbridge
Pembroke
Perry
Princeton
Robbinston
Steuben
Topsfield
Vanceboro
Waite
Wesley
Whiting
Alexander
Baring Plantation
Beddington
Centerville
Charlotte
Codyville Plantation
Columbia
Cooper
Crawford
Deblois
Indian
Marshfield
Northfield
Pleasant Point
Roque Bluffs
Talmadge
Whitneyville

Cities in York County, ME
Acton
Alfred
Bar Mills
Berwick
Biddeford
Biddeford Pool
Buxton
Cape Neddick
Cape Porpoise
Cornish
East Parsonsfield
East Waterboro
Eliot
Hollis Center
Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
Kittery
Kittery Point
Lebanon
Limerick
Limington
Moody
Newfield
North Berwick
North Waterboro
Ocean Park
Ogunquit
Old Orchard Beach
Parsonsfield
Saco
Sanford
Shapleigh
South Berwick
Springvale
Waterboro
Wells
West Kennebunk
West Newfield
York
York Beach
York Harbor
Arundel
Dayton
Lyman
Portsmouth

Cities in Belknap County, NH
Alton
Alton Bay

Cities in Carroll County, NH
East Wakefield
Effingham
Ossipee
Sanbornville
Union
Wolfeboro
Wolfeboro Falls
Brookfield

Cities in Strafford County, NH
Dover
Farmington
Milton
Milton Mills
New Durham
Newington
Rochester
Rollinsford
Somersworth

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