Skip to Main Content

Collapsing Retaining Wall

Has your retaining wall started leaning or bulging? Crumbling concrete, tilting walls, and widening cracks indicate a failing retaining wall needing prompt repairs. 

At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, we understand the importance of structural integrity and care about your family’s safety. For more than 15 years, homeowners throughout the region have trusted us to address, reinforce, and stabilize collapsing retaining walls using proven foundation repair techniques. 

With this guide, gain a comprehensive overview of retaining wall failure causes, warning signs, and effective repair solutions to stop deterioration in its tracks. 

What is a Retaining Wall? 

A retaining wall is a structure designed and built to hold back or retain soil, rock, or other material behind it. Retaining walls prevent downslope movement or erosion and provide structural support along slopes, foundations, waterfronts, roadways, and excavated areas.  

Retaining walls come in various styles and materials, including poured concrete and concrete block. Proper design, drainage, and maintenance are vital for retaining walls to remain structurally sound over decades of service. 

The deterioration of a retaining wall can present itself in several forms, such as: 

  • The appearance of cracks 
  • Walls leaning or bowing outward 
  • In extreme cases, complete failure or collapse of the wall 

These structural issues can lead to complications like soil erosion or even landslides. An unstable retaining wall can adversely affect nearby foundation or basement walls, compromising the integrity of the entire foundation. 

What Causes Retaining Walls to Fail?  

Several factors can compromise retaining walls and cause failure: 

  • Pressure and Settlement: The downslope pressure of the retained material behind the wall can exceed the wall’s structural capacity over time, causing leaning, bulging, or collapse. Similarly, if the ground under the retaining wall settles unevenly, the wall fails to remain level and plumb. 
  • Water Pressure and Erosion: Saturation from poor drainage, cracks, heavy rainfall or flooding exerts hydrostatic pressure on the wall. Water also erodes the supporting soil behind the wall. This added stress and loss of support leads to wall instability.  
  • Poor Compaction: Inadequate compaction of the structural backfill behind the retaining wall enables erosion channels to form, depriving the base of lateral support. 
  • Expansive Soils: Clay soils behind the wall expand when wet and shrink when dry, creating cycles of movement that displace the wall. 
  • Inadequate Design: Undersized footings, insufficient drainage, lack of reinforcement, or improper construction doom many retaining walls to eventual failure. 

Accurately identifying the source of wall failure guides appropriate repairs for stabilization. At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, we conduct thorough assessments to determine which factors have compromised your property’s retaining walls. 

Can You Repair a Collapsing Retaining Wall? 

Absolutely. Retaining walls that exhibit significant leaning or cracking can be effectively repaired and fortified to prevent further deterioration. Yet, true stabilization involves more than just superficial fixes; it requires addressing the root causes of the wall’s weakening. 

Merely patching the wall, such as by adding backfill soil or filling cracks with concrete or caulk, provides only a temporary fix and doesn’t solve the underlying problems. 

For lasting stabilization and possibly realignment of a retaining wall, comprehensive solutions are necessary. These include strengthening the wall’s foundation, managing excess moisture, and reinforcing the wall’s structure. Foundation Repair of Western Colorado offers permanent, guaranteed solutions specifically designed for retaining wall repair. 

How We Fix a Collapsing Retaining Wall 

At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, we recognize that each home is unique, requiring tailored repair strategies. Here’s our basic approach to fixing collapsing retaining walls: 

Comprehensive Evaluation 

Our specialists conduct a thorough inspection of your property and the affected retaining wall. After determining the cause of the wall’s failure, we propose repair solutions that align with the specific needs and budget of your home. 

Wall Stabilization 

To permanently secure the wall and halt further movement, and potentially improve its condition, we utilize robust wall anchors. This installation process involves: 

  • Excavating several feet away from the retaining wall 
  • Drilling through the wall 
  • Inserting a connecting rod into the drilled hole 
  • Placing an earth anchor plate in the excavated area 
  • Linking the rod and earth anchor plate 
  • Affixing a wall plate to the retaining wall 
  • Connecting the wall plate to the rod 
  • Backfilling the excavated soil 
  • Tightening the connection between the wall plate and rod to potentially enhance the wall’s condition 

Drainage Enhancement 

We also advise on the correct installation and upkeep of external drainage systems, such as gutters and downspouts, which are crucial in diverting excess water away from your home and structures like retaining walls. 

Foundation Repair of Western Colorado provides a variety of proprietary repair solutions, each designed to meet the unique requirements of your home. Our products are crafted to outperform generic solutions, ensuring more effective and durable results. 

Why Repair Retaining Walls Immediately?  

Don’t wait until complete retaining wall failure to take action. Here’s why expedient repairs are essential: 

  • Safety: Failing walls risk collapse and pose serious hazards to people and property. 
  • Cost: Extensive rebuilding of collapsed walls is far costlier than timely repairs. 
  • Damage: Delayed repairs allow additional settlement, bulging, and water intrusion behind walls.  
  • Value: Proactive wall reinforcement maintains your property’s value and avoids impacts to usable space. 
  • Liability: Faulty retaining walls can endanger adjacent homes, roads, or cause legal liability. 

Trust Foundation Repair of Western Colorado’s retaining wall repair expertise to reinforce structurally compromised walls and prevent complete failure. We eliminate safety hazards using proven techniques that also restore aesthetic appeal. Our warrantied solutions provide long-term stability and peace of mind. 

Contact Foundation Repair of Western Colorado for Retaining Wall Repair 

If you notice your concrete, block, or brick retaining walls leaning, cracking, or buckling, don’t hesitate to contact Foundation Repair of Western Colorado for a free inspection. Our team of repair experts will assess the damage and develop a personalized plan to permanently stabilize your wall. 

With more than 15 years of expertise in reinforcing failing retaining walls, you can rely on our skilled team to restore and maintain the structural integrity of your landscape. We prioritize your safety and peace of mind, offering long-term warranties on our work. 


While repair times vary, most retaining wall repairs are completed within a week. During your free foundation inspection with Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, our expert will discuss the specifics of your project, including the estimated timeframe for completion. 

The cost for repairing a collapsing retaining wall depends on the severity of the damage and the specific repair methods required. Contact Foundation Repair of Western Colorado to schedule a free inspection and receive a no-obligation repair estimate. We also provide transparent pricing and various financing options

Key signs that a retaining wall is failing include noticeable leaning, bulging, cracking, or sinking. These issues suggest that the wall is no longer adequately supported. Similar symptoms may also be observed in adjacent basement or foundation walls. For retaining wall and other foundation concerns, contact Foundation Repair of Western Colorado for a free inspection

Foundation Repair of Western Colorado Service Map

Our Locations

Grand Junction

2575 U.S. 6 & 50, Unit A
Grand Junction, CO 81501