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.

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

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
Wales
West Minot
West Poland

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

Cities in Cumberland County, ME
Bailey Island
Baldwin
Bridgton
Brunswick
Bustins Island
Cape Elizabeth
Casco
Chebeague Island
Cliff Island
Cumberland
Cumberland Center
Cumberland Foreside
East Baldwin
Falmouth
Freeport
Frye Island
Gorham
Gray
Harpswell
Harrison
Long Island
Naples
New Gloucester
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cities in Belknap County, NH
Alton
Alton Bay

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

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

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