• Hometalker
  • Prescott, AZ
Asked on Jul 15, 2018

Hi there, Hometalk friends! I haves retaining wall that is failing!

Paul DempseyNancy Turner


The original railroad ties have rotted and are leaning out top first. Should I dig the earth away and start over or is there an easier, less expensive way in sweat equity and/or cash?

2 answers
  • Nancy Turner
    on Jul 15, 2018

    Right now, treated 4x4's are cheaper than railroad ties. It wouldn't take that much to replace the ties for the 4x4's. All you would need is rebar the height of the retaining wall, plus a couple of feet to sink in the ground depending how high your retaining wall is right now. Make sure to predrill the boards so that they go on the rebar easily. Make sure you even out the soil where it is leaning out. This would be much easier to do and less expensive than using ties, bricks, rock, etc. I hope this helps you Jenni. You can do this and make it look nice, the way it should.
  • Paul Dempsey
    on Jul 21, 2018

    It is hard to say without more information and pictures what your best options might be. Landscape blocks have a lip that overlaps the block below to help prevent the soil from pushing the wall outwards. But rebuilding from scratch isn't cheap

    If you have a portion of the ties which have rotted and most are salvageable. tearing down and restacking them is possible. As noted above, use rebar to link them together. You may also want to bury a perpendicular key piece back into the hillside to lock in the wall and prevent push out. Basically you place one piece running into the hill like a nail to resist the hydrostatic pressure of the soil against the wall.
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