Consulting Services Incorporated (CSI) is a geotechnical engineering consulting firm founded in Lexington, Kentucky with offices in several locations in Kentucky and in Cincinnati, Ohio. CSI provides a full range of services, including retention wall inspection. Our engineering team has expertise in providing an inspection that will generate a report for the property owner that will describe the condition of the wall and recommendations on remediation if needed. Because we have worked throughout the Ohio Valley and in most every state east of the Mississippi River, we have an understanding of the geophysical conditions which may be present and our retaining wall inspection will be thorough and accurate.
There are numerous problems that can occur with a retaining wall that would trigger an inspection. Water is frequently found to be the root cause of many walls failing or compromising. As ground becomes permeated or saturated with water, the pressure of this soil increases pressure on retaining walls. As saturated soil freezes and thaws, this causes expansion and contraction that can lead to retaining wall issues. If wood is one of the materials used in the construction of a retaining wall, wood can be subject to rotting from moisture in the soil. Because it is critical to minimize the trapping of water behind the wall, a well-built retaining wall design should include gravel behind the wall and drainage/weep holes at the bottom. At CSI our retaining wall inspection will include a thorough review of these and other potential factors.
Obviously good design and appropriate building materials go a long way in assuring the life of a retaining wall. When any kind of bulging or compromise is detected in a retaining wall, it is important to secure the services of engineering professionals to conduct the retaining wall inspection. When Consulting Services Inc. is hired to perform a retaining wall inspection, a number of things will occur:
CSI will perform a records search to determine the construction history of the retaining wall and search for any information that will be helpful to the inspectors. Based upon this information, the retaining wall inspection plan is organized.
Field work consists of a Condition Assessment Effort that will examine the wall to evaluate its condition.
Data from the inspection is reviewed and a written report with recommendations if warranted is delivered to the client.
In recent years there have been advancements in design and construction of retaining walls that result in walls that support more weight on steeper slopes and do so more cost effectively than ever before. However, the risks associated with large retaining walls continue to be problematic and the need for professional retention wall inspection has not dissipated.
In the field of engineering, there is agreement that there are two main culprits in compromise or failure of retention walls. The first, as mentioned earlier, is water, requiring the design of a drainage system that will keep this problem to a minimum. The second culprit is communication. It is critical for the design and construction team to communicate effectively. We pride ourselves on our strong communication skills at CSI. When Consulting Services, Inc. works on your project, whether it is the design of the construction of a retaining wall, construction inspection of a retaining wall or the inspection of an existing retaining wall, you can be assured that this team has the breadth of technical expertise and experience to perform this work. Design and construction of a retaining wall can be complex and cannot be done safely without utilizing the services of professionals credentialed in this type of engineering construction.