How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall?

Average range: $200 - $1,200
Low
$100
Average Cost
$600
High
$5,000
(Repairs for a couple of cracks and crumbling areas)

Get free estimates from retaining wall contractors near you
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How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall?

Average range: $200 - $1,200
Low
$100
Average Cost
$600
High
$5,000
(Repairs for a couple of cracks and crumbling areas)

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Reviewed by Isabel Maria Perez. Written by Fixr.com.

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.

Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall

Retaining Wall Repair Price
National average cost$600
Average range$200-$1,200
Minimum cost$100
Maximum cost$5,000


Retaining Wall Repair Cost by Project Range

Low
$100
Patching a small part of a damaged foundation
Average Cost
$600
Repairs for a couple of cracks and crumbling areas
High
$5,000
Rebuilding a large section of a retaining wall

Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall by Material

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.


Cost to Repair a Vinyl, Railroad Tie, Concrete, Aggregate, Steel, Cinder Block, Brick, or Stone Retaining Wall

Cost to Repair a Vinyl, Railroad Tie, Concrete, Aggregate, Steel, Cinder Block, Brick, or Stone Retaining Wall


MaterialAverage 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


Vinyl Retaining Wall Repair Cost

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.

Railroad Tie Retaining Wall Repair Cost

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.

Concrete Retaining Wall Repair Cost

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.

Aggregate Retaining Wall Repair Cost

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.

Steel Retaining Wall Repair Cost

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.

Cinder Block Retaining Wall Repair

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.

Brick Retaining Wall Repair Cost

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.

Repair Stone Retaining Wall Cost

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.


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Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall by Type of Repair

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.


Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall by Type of Repair: Wood Rot, Foundation, Crack, Efflorescence, Crumbling, Water Seeping Through, Leaning...

Cost to Repair a Retaining Wall by Type of Repair: Wood Rot, Foundation, Crack, Efflorescence, Crumbling, Water Seeping Through, Leaning...


Type of RepairAverage 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


Repair Rotted Railroad Ties Cost

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.

Retaining Wall Foundation Repair Prices

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.

Retaining Wall Crack Repair Prices

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.

Efflorescence Repair

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.

Crumbling Retaining Wall

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.

Water Seeping Through a Retaining Wall

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.

Bowing Retaining Wall

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.

Cost to Fix a Leaning Retaining Wall

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.

Cost to Fix a Retaining Wall by Solution

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.


Cost to Reinforce, Straighten, Anchor, Add Drainage, or Rebuild a Retaining Wall

Cost to Reinforce, Straighten, Anchor, Add Drainage, or Rebuild a Retaining Wall


SolutionAverage 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


Reinforce a Retaining Wall

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.

Straighten a Retaining Wall

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.

Anchor a Retaining Wall

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.

Add Drainage to an Existing Retaining Wall

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.

Cost to Rebuild a Retaining Wall

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.


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Labor Costs to Repair a Retaining Wall

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 Inspection Cost

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.


Green Garden With a Stone Retaining Wall


Retaining Wall Maintenance

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.

Repair vs Replace a Retaining Wall

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.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Cost to Remove a Retaining Wall

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.

Paint a Retaining Wall

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.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permit. Depending on the size and location, a permit may be necessary before making repairs, replacements, or alterations. Speak with the local building authority to learn more before making repairs.
  • DIY. Homeowners can do some basic maintenance and repairs like filling cracks and replacing missing sections of mortar. However, it is recommended to hire professionals for repair because these walls require expert techniques.
  • Different quotes. Get a few quotes to find the best value for money on your retaining wall repairs and ensure your contractors are licensed and experienced in working on retaining walls.
  • Insurance. Retaining walls are often classed as detached structures in homeowners insurance policies and should be covered in the case of various damages like damage from fire, storms, or vehicles. Look at your policy details to see if it covers retaining wall repairs.
  • Site preparation. The site may need to be leveled or excavated before major retaining wall repairs or alterations are done, especially when the homeowner plans to replace large sections or the entire wall. This is something to discuss with your contractor and could add extra costs.

FAQs

  • Can a leaning retaining wall be repaired?

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.

  • How long do retaining walls last?

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.

  • Does my retaining wall need drainage?

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.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover retaining wall damage?

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.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Retaining Wall 1 Retaining walls: A structure used to support vertical slopes of earth or to hold back water
glossary term picture Vinyl 2 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Mortar 3 Mortar: A mixture of Portland cement or lime or a combination of both, sand, and water used to bind bricks, stones, and concrete masonry units together

Cost to repair a retaining wall varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Beautiful Yard With a Railroad Tie Retaining Wall
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Cost to repair a retaining wall varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources