How much lean on a retaining wall is ok?

Discussion in 'Building' started by MisterBoy, 22 Sep 2021.

  1. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    I have this old (c1850) wall. On one side it's 1-2m high, on the other substantially more as it holds back our yard from the lane.

    To my eye it looks true but I've noticed slight gaps and decided to measure it. It looks like it's leaning out consistently 2cm per meter of elevation on the freestanding top section.

    I don't see signs of active movement but the gap to the building seems to clearly show it wasn't built out of plumb so must've moved at some point.

    How much lean is too much? Would you consider this quite normal or investigate further? 16323302422942000324731120474737.jpg 16323304307561517306372798950604.jpg 16323305386216273913499489380451.jpg
     
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  3. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Do the public have a right of way down by the side of it?
     
  4. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    What will your answer to my question be if I say yes/no?

    Technically yes but it's very unlikely. It's not a throughfare, apart from the postman nobody should be there.
     
  5. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    2% isn't excessive, pointing looks in good order, monitor it bimonthly over a year (plumbline over the top at marked locations, measure the gap to marked brick at the bottom). Record the measurements somewhere, if there's seasonal to and fro movement don't worry too much, if the thing does collapse the fact you were monitoring it and maintaining it will defend you against charges of negligent anything.
     
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  6. Bouy

    Bouy

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    Or that you were aware it was iffy and failed to take adequate action ??
     
  7. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    Define 'iffy' though. If you're monitoring for change and it doesn't get worse, then it fell down, you've shown diligence.

    But a bit off track. I want to make sure it doesn't fall rather than worry who it might fall on. But I don't want to do needless preventative work and I have zero knowledge what might constitute a risk other than common sense "if it's moving" :)
     
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  9. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Some drainage of the land being retained would be helpful, if that's a public highway or similar then unfortunately you can't just poke some holes in the wall. Apart from that it looks in good nick (be worth washing off all that green gunge at the bottom & checking the pointing down there)
     
  10. cdbe

    cdbe

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    Keep a close eye on it, pop back in 2190 and update us.
     
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  11. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    That serious a concern eh :)
     
  12. Mobo_14

    Mobo_14

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    Here’s one we recently looked at same story.


    wouldn’t want that falling on ye
     

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  13. MisterBoy

    MisterBoy

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    What did you decide?

    If it is moving, what could you do on something like that?
     
  14. Mobo_14

    Mobo_14

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    We removed the damaged buttresses and rebuilt them with 7N block on flat. Movement like that happens over a lot of years not as if it happened over night…. That being said I wouldn’t want a wall like that in my back garden
     
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