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My stone retaining wall has slumped over time: enter image description here enter image description here

It may be a little hard to detect in pics, but it has sunk about two to three inches in middle :--(

I don't want to tear down and rebuild, nor can I raise area from below, e.g. via mud-jacking. Is there a standard or an accepted way to build up/fill in the slumped area so the slope from left to right is again uniform and straight? Aesthetics are only marginally important...

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    The wall is stable or is still sinking? I think you should do nothing until it it stabilized. Do you have a reason of such sinking? Very bad work, or there are other problems? (e.g. broken pipe, unexpected infiltration, etc.). – Giacomo Catenazzi Jun 12 at 6:30
  • Home built in 1997, and so is about ~20 years old. I believe the wall has stabilized, but, it's north Texas and that always presents some problems given the underlying seasonal expanding/contracting nature of clay soil. BUT the real reason it has happened is that my neighbor NEVER waters his property at all. My lawn at the boundary of his property has died out mostly as well, since it leaches all the water away from my side :--) But it really hasn't noticeably moved/slumped more since I have been thinking about fixing it (about three years, now). – mblatz01 Jun 12 at 19:44
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I see that the stone is held in with mortar. As it's not a dry stone wall then you cannot raise it without rebuilding it. With a mortared wall there should be a concrete foundation underneath. If there is no foundation or it has failed due to water run off. Investigate and find out if there is a foundation by digging down.

  • find the foundation
  • if there is a foundation why did it fail? resolve this first
  • if there is no foundation then remove all the stone

Then you have choices such as:

  • remove the existing stone, remove the mortar, rebuild as a dry stone wall on a bed of stone dust
  • or use interlocking concrete retaining bricks. This will require digging to create a bed of six to twelve inches of crushed 5/8 or 7/8 gravel compacted with a top layer of a few inches of stone dust
  • another option could be called the "go big or go home". Large concrete blocks will not move very much and you could get away without a proper base. See here. This will definitely cost more but will last longer
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  • Thanks...those redi rocks look like serious solutions! :--) But I am really trying to do this quick-n-dirty, and on the cheap. The area faces my (ugly) alley, and I am wanting to move in a year or two, so... I commented above re: why failed. I will continue to search for an acceptable way to build on/up from what's there, even if it ends up looking a little hinky. I pretty much just want to be able to fill the bed with an even layer of dirt/mulch rather than have the near (wall) side be 3 inches lower. – mblatz01 Jun 12 at 19:54

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