How To Repair A Stone Retaining Wall

Lead Image
  • 4-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-15
What You'll Need
Work Gloves
Safety glasses
Knee pads
Wire brush
Wooden stakes
Water bucket
Coarse and fine sand

If you have a stone retaining wall on your property that is in need of repair, you could pay someone to do the work for you. However, if you are a DIY enthusiast that likes to take on his/her own projects, this is a good one to dive into and learn a lot about masonry work in the process. Repairing a stone retaining wall is not difficult, and this easy to follow how-to guide will make the job even easier for you to do it yourself.

Step 1 - Clear and Clean Wall Area

Use a broom to sweep away any loose concrete, stone or dust that made be in and around the location of the stone retaining wall that you plan to repair.

Step 2 - Mix Cement

Refer to the instructions on the bag of cement mix, and mix the concrete accordingly. You will find it is easier to mix the concrete if you use a wheelbarrow and a shovel to turn the concrete and mix it.

Step 3 - Test the Mixture

Take a tablespoon of the concrete mix and place it on a wooden board. Then heat the concrete mix with a hairdryer until it dries completely. Check the color of the concrete mix against that on your stone retaining wall. You may need to add additional dark or light sand in order to properly match the color.

Step 4 - Wet the Stones

Using a wet sponge, wet down the stones in the area where you are making repairs. This will help keep the stones from sucking too much moisture out of the cement mix.

Step 5 - Fill in Holes and Openings with Cement

Use a cement trowel to fill in any gaps or holes caused by missing cement in the wall. When filling in the holes, try to apply the cement mix in a way that is level and consistent with the way the existing cement is applied.

Step 6 - Repair Wall Base

Take cement and fill in cracks and damage along the base of the stone wall. If there are holes in the base area of the wall, make sure to fill them completely with the concrete mix. For damage along the base of the wall, you may need to apply several layers of concrete in order to repair the damage.

Step 7 - Adjust Footing

Look for stones along the footing of the retaining wall that is damaged and replace them as needed. Try to keep the footing stones for the wall uniform in width and make sure they are properly aligned. You might want to consider using a chalk line to create a new reference point for aligning your footing stones.

Step 8 - Make Sure Wall is Flush

You should also use the chalk line to make sure that the surface area of the wall is relatively flush. Although stone walls will never be completely straight, you should try to make sure that they are as straight as possible.

Step 9 - Creating Clean Joints

Take the concrete trowel and apply a thin layer of concrete in between the joints of the stones. Try to keep the joints as clean and neat as possible.