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CMU Wall Repair

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Old 12-02-2008, 06:17 PM   #1
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CMU Wall Repair

2 foot high curved retaining wall, 40' long, 3 CMU bricks high, set on a 4" deep footer, backfilled with dirt and grass top. Noticing 1 hairline crack 1/64" from foundation to top(follows the offset of the bricks) and obviously there is some minute movement at that point of the wall. I'm worried about the freeze/thaw cycle and that part of the wall crack progressing. What would be the procedure to stop it now? I'll excavate the dirt on the inside of the wall around the crack but how do i stop the progression. I'm pretty sur that it's not hydraulic, there was a drain placed at the bottom of the wall on the inside..... thanks
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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Re: CMU Wall Repair

Going to need pictures at least.


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Old 12-02-2008, 09:13 PM   #3
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Re: CMU Wall Repair

2' high? and a 1/64" crack in it. Ahhh, take 2 aspirin and call me in a couple years.
...and if it's not pressure from behind the wall I would call insufficient footing.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:49 PM   #4
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Re: CMU Wall Repair

You do not use 4" thick footings, let alone use dirt as a backfill.

You do not have "bricks", but have concrete block (CMUs) that are mortared and require a rigid footing and horizontal joint reinforcement.

The cause may br due to footing failure, bad backfill that cannot drain to the drain tile in the bottom or just the shape that causes forces to open up the joints.

Since you are concerned about freeze/thaw you must have cold weather that mat require a deeper and/or thicker footing. A 4" thick footing is pretty feeble.

You would have been better off using segmental retaining wall units (SRWs) where no mortar is permitted and a footing is not needed , required or permitted.

Without more information on the climate, soil and other factors it is difficult to do more than just guess. As TS said, photos would be a help to understand the situation.

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Old 12-04-2008, 04:21 PM   #5
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Re: CMU Wall Repair

Attached pic.
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CMU wall repair-2001_0221_061045aa.jpg  
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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Re: CMU Wall Repair

You can see the crack starting right at the edge of the lilac bluestone. it was sealed last year to prevent water from entering the crack
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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Re: CMU Wall Repair

That is one weird looking wall. Best to backfill with clean gravel and a drain pipe for the water to escape. Biggest mistake I see with retaining walls is not putting proper drainage behind it.


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