The disadvantages of retaining walls

Written by andre jones
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The disadvantages of retaining walls
Stone is commonly used to build a retaining wall. (stone wall image by Greg Pickens from

Retaining walls are one of the most common structural tools for landscaping. A retaining wall is a wall used in landscaping as a stabilising structure for sloping soil. No matter the type of retaining wall, it must be sturdy enough to disperse pressure caused by sloping. If you are thinking of using a retaining wall for your landscaping project, familiarise yourself with the disadvantages of retaining walls, before making the commitment to install one.

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Vertical Cracks

Some retaining walls begin developing vertical cracks, such as in poured concrete. This is often due to excessive pressure or wide changes in temperature. In order to prevent these vertical cracks, provide plenty of good drainage, which can often be expensive to accomplish.

Vertical cracks may form in retaining walls.
Vertical cracks may form in retaining walls. (cracked wall image by Abrie Viljoen from

Failing Foundation

Retaining walls need extensive drainage resources to prevent moisture, but they also require a strong foundation. Some retaining walls will not be able to retain high amounts of pressure from soil, such as bricks walls. This often results in crumbling bricks or a failing foundation.

The disadvantages of retaining walls
Brick retaining walls often fail under pressure. (bricks image by Bosko Martinovic from


Retaining walls also can attract termites to your property, as is often the case when timber is used as a retaining wall. Termites can nest inside rotting timber and near moulded areas. Correcting this problem can be expensive, if you have to use termite monitoring and treatment devices.

The disadvantages of retaining walls
Termites are sometimes found in timber retaining walls. (Timber image by Wozzap from

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