Retaining walls are essential on properties with hilly land or irregular landscaping, holding back higher levels of soil and easing drainage. They can be made of various materials and are designed to be strong and sturdy, but problems can still arise such as cracks, holes, and crumbling mortar. When this happens, you need to have your wall repaired.
The national average cost for retaining wall repair is between $200 and $1,200, with most homeowners paying around $600 to have a couple of cracks and crumbling sections patched. This project’s low cost is $100 to patch a small section of damaged wall foundation. The high cost for this project is $5,000 to rebuild a large section of a retaining wall.
|Retaining Wall Repair Price|
|National average cost||$600|
Retaining walls 1 can be made of many materials like stone, steel, and vinyl. The costs of the repair may be influenced by the materials used to make the wall. Some materials are much cheaper and simpler to work with and replace than others. The table below shows common materials and the average repair costs for each.
|Material||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Vinyl||$150 - $500|
|Railroad Tie||$150 - $1,000|
|Concrete||$200 - $1,000|
|Aggregate||$200 - $1,000|
|Steel||$200 - $1,000|
|Cinder Block||$250 - $1,200|
|Brick||$250 - $1,200|
|Stone||$250 - $1,500|
The average cost for vinyl 2 retaining wall repairs is between $150 and $500. Vinyl is one of the cheapest materials. It is also relatively inexpensive to repair. However, it is one of the least durable materials and is prone to cracking and breaking under pressure, so it may need extra reinforcement with the standard patching.
Homeowners pay between $150 and $1,000 for railroad tie retaining wall repairs. Railroad ties are a popular feature found in many retaining walls. They are large pieces of wood, typically stacked to form the wall. Railroad ties are strong and thicker than vinyl, but they rot when exposed to moisture and can suffer from pest problems.
The cost to repair a concrete retaining wall ranges from $200 to $1,000. Concrete is a popular material because it is strong and can be poured into the shape of each wall. However, it can crack and crumble from weathering and erosion, so it may need regular patching and sealing.
Homeowners pay between $200 and $1,000 to repair their aggregate retaining wall. Aggregate retaining walls are made from small materials compressed under high pressure to form a solid structure. These walls are very tough but may buckle under immense pressure from the soil, so they may need to be anchored and reinforced with general patching and repair.
It ranges between $200 and $1,000 to repair steel retaining walls. Steel is a good choice due to its immense strength. It can be used in thin layers to hold back large amounts of soil. Steel may get dented and damaged from accidents and impacts, so these walls might require straightening and possible anchoring and reinforcement.
Homeowners pay between $250 and $1,200 to repair their cinder block retaining wall. They are a good choice for interlocking or segmented walls. These blocks give the wall an attractive look with many colors and styles but have issues with drainage and may lean from pressure.
The cost for brick retaining wall repairs averages $250 to $1,200. Brick is another popular material used. It has a traditional look and feel and can be used to make walls of different lengths and sizes. However, the mortar 3 can crumble and wear, possibly causing drainage issues. So, they need regular maintenance and patching when holes appear.
Repairing a stone retaining wall ranges between $250 and $1,500. Stones are often stacked to form attractive and versatile walls. They are strong and withstand pressure from the soil. However, they can have drainage issues and may need straightening and reinforcing if the stones are pushed out.
Many things can go wrong with a retaining wall. Cracks and crumbling sections may appear, or foundation issues might arise. The wall might also start to lean or bow, or water might be spotted seeping through it. Most issues can be fixed, but the costs vary depending on the labor and materials needed for each problem. The table below shows common issues and average repair costs.
|Type of Repair||Average Repair Costs (Labor Included)|
|Wood Rot||$40 - $50/sq.ft.|
|Foundation||$40 - $70/linear foot|
|Crack||$150 - $300|
|Efflorescence||$150 - $800|
|Crumbling||$150 - $1,000|
|Water Seeping Through||$150 - $1,000|
|Bowing||$200 - $1,500|
|Leaning||$200 - $1,500|
The average cost to repair rotted railroad ties is between $40 and $50 per sq.ft. Railroad ties are wood, so they may rot if regularly exposed to high amounts of moisture without adequate sealing and maintenance. Rotted sections must be removed and replaced.
Costs average $40 to $70 per linear foot to repair the foundation. The foundation is an important part of the overall structure because it is the wall’s base and secures it. This area can be exposed to dirt, debris, and water, so it might crumble and wear. Damaged sections must be patched, and some parts may need to be rebuilt.
Homeowners pay between $150 and $300 for crack repairs. This is one of the most common repair types needed, and it is normal to notice cracks appearing in your wall. These cracks are usually caused by weathering damage and can get bigger if not fixed, so it is important to act fast when you spot a crack and patch it.
Costs range from $150 to $800 for efflorescence repair. If your wall is made from bricks or concrete, you might notice a white powder on it. This is efflorescence and a sign that moisture is seeping through the wall. There might be cracks and holes that need patching, or it may require a new drainage system like weep holes or drain pipes to remove the excess water.
Homeowners pay between $150 and $1,000 for crumbling repairs. The price mostly depends on how much of the wall is crumbling because larger sections require additional materials and labor, leading to a higher repair bill. Sections may crumble due to worn mortar or cracks, so they usually must be patched and possibly reinforced to prevent damage.
If water is seeping through the retaining wall, expect to pay $150 to $1,000 to fix it. The total repair cost depends on what damage has been done to allow water to seep through. Water could be passing through a small crack that can be patched cheaply, or the wall might have several cracks or crumbling areas that need repairing.
The cost for bowing retaining wall repairs averages $200 to $1,500. A bowing retaining wall can be a worrying sight, and it might be bowing from foundation problems or an excessive amount of pressure in one area. Anchors and tiebacks are used to fix this problem, and superficial damage should also be patched.
The average cost to repair a leaning retaining wall is between $200 and $1,500. Leaning walls can be repaired with tiebacks. Also referred to as tie-backs and dead-man anchors, tiebacks are a wire or rod used to reinforce or anchor retaining walls. They attach at one end to the wall and the other to another stable structure like a piece of concrete secured deep into the ground.
Contractors and repairmen might use various repair methods like straightening, reinforcing, and anchoring when repairing retaining walls. They usually analyze the damage type before deciding on the correct solution, and certain repair solutions cost more than others. The table below shows common solutions and the average costs of each.
|Solution||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Reinforce||$40 - $70/linear foot|
|Straighten||$50 - $70/linear foot|
|Anchor||$50 - $70/linear foot|
|Drainage Addition||$60 - $70/sq.ft.|
|Rebuild||$60 - $100/linear foot|
Homeowners pay between $40 and $70 per linear foot to reinforce a retaining wall. Reinforcement of a comes in various forms. In some cases, new mortar might be applied to a brick wall to strengthen it, or plants can be planted or landscaping done to prevent damage to the wall. In other cases, anchor points may need to be installed, or concrete used to thicken the base.
The average cost to straighten a retaining wall ranges from $50 to $70 per linear foot. You may need to straighten a retaining wall if it is leaning and seems like it may fall down. Walls that are not straight often buckle and fall if left unattended, so have them straightened for safety and aesthetic reasons. Tiebacks are usually used to straighten walls.
Anchoring averages $50 to $70 per linear foot. Anchoring is a method used when retaining walls bow or lean. According to Bob Vila, it is a method which involves tiebacks or anchor points to pull the wall back against the soil, anchoring and preventing it from falling.
The average cost of adding drainage to an existing retaining wall is between $60 and $70 per sq.ft. Drainage is important because water builds in the soil without it, putting pressure on the structure. This can make cracks and holes more likely. Drainage can be added in various forms, such as weep holes or drainage pipes.
When rebuilding a retaining wall, expect to pay between $60 and $100 per linear foot. This covers the cost of removing old or damaged sections and rebuilding the new sections. Rebuilding is often seen as a last resort repair option and is only used when the damage is too much to be fixed in conventional ways like patching and reapplying mortar or other materials.
Contractors charge between $50 and $150 per hour for their services when repairing retaining walls, and some have flat fees for certain jobs. Rates vary from state to state, and some contractors may also charge a call-out fee of $50 to $100 to visit your home and look at the damage. This fee may be waived if the homeowner hires the same contractor for the work.
If the damage is severe, contact a residential structural engineer to assess the damage. These workers charge between $100 and $200 per hour. The engineer may be able to recommend a contractor from their network to do the necessary repairs. It is also worth noting that contractors and engineers may charge extra if they have to travel a long distance to get to your property.
Retaining wall inspections usually range between $100 and $250, and experts recommend inspecting them every 3 to 5 years. If the wall is older or faces a public right-of-way, it may be wise to have it inspected more regularly. During an inspection, an expert inspects the wall closely and looks for signs of damage or weaknesses that may need addressing, providing a full report of their findings.
Well-maintained walls last longer and have fewer problems like cracks and crumbling areas, so it is wise for homeowners to look after these walls as well as they can. There are not that many maintenance steps you can do, but you can at least inspect the wall regularly to look for signs of damage like cracks, gaps, and missing mortar sections. If you spot problems like these early, you can fix them before they become worse.
The wall should also be cleaned regularly, with surface dirt and debris swept away. Check the drainage pipe and remove debris to prevent blockages, especially during winter when ice and snow can enter the pipe.
It is also useful to look for eroded areas, especially after periods of rain or snow, and fill in sections of missing soil to prevent water pools from forming around the wall. Soil integrity is key to the retaining wall’s strength and long-term durability, and a good way to keep soil strong is to use plants. Consider planting plants along the top of the wall and replacing plants or grasses that die.
Homeowners may be faced with a decision between repairing or replacing their wall. When it comes to making this decision, cost is usually the biggest factor. The average cost to build a new retaining wall is between $3,500 and $10,000, and you may have to add between $200 and $1,000 to cover the added expenses of removing the existing structure. So, the cost of replacing a wall can be very high. If the costs of your repairs are expected to be low, it is usually best to opt for repairs rather than replacement. However, if the damage to your wall is extensive or it is over 50 years old, consider a replacement.
Homeowners pay between $200 and $1,000 to remove a retaining wall. The price mostly depends on the size, with larger walls costing more to remove because of the extra work to demolish and remove the sections. Retaining walls may need to be removed due to redevelopment projects or if the existing wall is badly damaged and needs replacing.
It ranges from $300 to $1,500 to paint a retaining wall. For this price, the painter will clean, prepare, and paint the wall. The main factor affecting the price is size. Larger walls require more time, effort, and paint, so they usually cost more than smaller ones. Painting a retaining wall is a good way to spruce it up and add extra protection against moisture and the elements.
Yes, you can usually repair leaning retaining walls. They might need to be strengthened by transferring some force to the base, and contractors might also use anchors or tiebacks to reinforce a leaning wall.
This depends on the materials and other factors, such as the soil quality and climate. On average, retaining walls should last from 50 to 100 years.
Yes, drainage is essential because water usually cannot pass through the wall. Without drainage, pressure builds up in the soil behind the wall, making it more likely to break or crack.
Yes, most homeowners insurance policies classify retaining walls as detached structures and usually cover them in case of damages from perils like fire, lightning, and vehicles.