Homeowners choose to install retaining walls for all sorts of reasons. They may want to add aesthetics to an otherwise plain-looking yard, enjoy a unique seating option or keep soil from eroding in certain spots. Maintenance is key to avoiding structural issues and to ensure that it will last a lifetime. Whether there was already a retaining wall when you bought your property or you installed one yourself, you might be wondering whether your wall requires regular maintenance. The good news is that if your retaining wall was built correctly, then seasonal maintenance should generally be a breeze.
You want your stone walls to last a long time, free of damage and looking beautiful. Below are some tips to help you maintain your retaining wall in Kansas City.
Weeds are various types of hardy vegetation that can grow and thrive just about anywhere, even on private retaining walls. Weeds and moss have no problem growing between the pavers or rocks in retaining walls, and the cracks in seemingly solid block walls make for prime weed real estate. From time to time, check your walls for weed growth. Weeds can quickly multiply, so pull them when you see them. You might consider spraying walls often with a weed killer. Whenever possible, choose organic sprays over chemical sprays.
Treat the ground
Installing a retaining wall could mean other work will need to be done, too. Specifically, the landscaper may treat the ground around the retaining wall in the areas that were disturbed during construction. Treatments might include pavers, plants, grass, mulch or other types of ground cover. This encourages proper drainage. When performing a springtime retaining wall inspection, also take a close look at the condition of these ground treatments.
Check for settling problems
Settling problems with retaining walls need to be identified as soon as possible. This is a problem that is more common in walls that were built by DIY-enthusiast homeowners than those built by professionals. When retaining walls settle, they tend to move, meaning you are likely to run into potentially serious drainage issues or erosion problems. That being said, minor settling probably won’t hurt the integrity of the wall, but do keep an eye on it. A stackable wall that is settling can be re-stacked on top of a more stable foundation.
Maintain surrounding landscape
Most retaining walls were built for a specific purpose, be it for erosion control, water diversion or something else. However, because these types of walls also define spaces in the yard and add character, take the time to add landscape features around them. Find out the types of root systems in trees and bigger plants before planting them near walls—you want to avoid the roots spreading and causing structural damage. Your best bet will be low-maintenance plants, flowers and shrubs with slow-growing roots, which will look nice mixed in with pavers and ornamental grasses.
Are you ready to build a retaining wall or other type of block wall in Kansas City? Then MSE Hardscape Design and Installation is the team to trust with the job. Call us anytime to schedule a free consultation for your next hardscape project!