wooden retaining wall advice needed

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Old 04-17-18, 05:13 AM
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wooden retaining wall advice needed

Hello!
I have a wooden retaining wall that is about 10 years old that encloses a walkway down to my basement. I was recently resetting all the pavers because they have sunken down and I am noticing that the wood has started to bulge out from the pressure of the soil behind the wall. I have 3 Camilla plants growing inside the wall. My question is this: should I uproot the plants and transplant somewhere else or can I get by with cutting the roots back like spading them so they won't push the wall any further. Or, do I even need to do anything? I'm assuming the wall is bulging due to pressure from these roots and soil. Also, I do have a french drain that runs underneath the patio. Any advice is welcome.
 
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Old 04-17-18, 08:46 AM
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what is "sepal. afion" that you wrote in the lower right of your first picture?

The plants don't have a whole lot to do with the retaining wall failing. It's the weight of the soil constantly pushing against the back side of the wall. In the bulging section if you grab the top of the wall and push/pull can you move it? If so the wall simply isn't strong enough.

As for the gap you show next to the wall. It appears the wall was built that way as the gap is consistent from top to bottom. Grab the top of that section of wall and I bet you can wiggle it back and forth pretty easily. That is indicative of the problem with the whole wall. There just isn't any structure there to hold the soil back.

The sorta easy fix is to dig a narrow trench along the back side of the retaining wall. Basically making it so the wall isn't holding anything back. A step up in properness would be to install some dead men behind the wall and as close to the house as possible and run threaded rod from the dead men through the wall to a big washer and nut on the face of the wall.
 
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Old 04-17-18, 10:58 AM
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Separation, lower wall is pushing out from the soil.

Unless it's a reinforced wall earth will eventually win.
 
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Old 04-17-18, 12:11 PM
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I just wrote separation (lol--hypen I just didn't have space). Thank you for this advice. What are "dead men" that you refer to?

If I do the option where you said dig a narrow trench, what should I put there to hold the soil back from the wall?
Thanks.
 
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Old 04-17-18, 04:33 PM
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Deadmen are anchors buried in the ground somewhat similar to a boat anchor. It provides a anchor point to attach and provide support to the wall.

If you dig out behind the wall there is then nothing to support the soil. It will eventually fall or erode back into the trench next to the retaining wall. It's really only a temporary fix.
 
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Old 04-17-18, 04:44 PM
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Deadman anchors are rods from the wall into the soil with some type of board or plate to offer resistance to the wall from moving. Problem, with such a narrow bed even if put to the other side it may not be enough to stop it.

You got 10 years so far so repairing the bottom and living with the sides may be acceptable, it's far from collapsing!
 
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