Home Inspector Tom shares some good information on retaining walls and the possibility of having a problem. Many in the Albuquerque area in fact do have retaining walls and I think Tom's post may just help you out.
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If Your Retaining Wall Isn’t Retaining Dirt,
You May Have a Problem
The idea of a retaining wall is usually to hold back soil. It may be keeping soil from coming toward your home, the wall can be used to hold the ground away from your fence, and sometimes a retaining wall can help to keep soil from eroding away from under the foundation.
We see this sort of construction up in the foothills of the Sierras when the properties are located on rolling hills. The soil may have been cut back for a driveway or the foundation of the building; when this is done the fresh earth is very likely to wash away during a storm. Putting in a retaining wall holds that soil in place.
What if the constructed retaining wall fails? They don’t last forever, so the need to repair or replace them is important. If for example the wall is holding the soil around the building in place and the structure breaks down, over time the soil will begin to erode. This could lead to the dirt around the build to wash away, leaving the foundation unsupported. This can lead to crack of the foundation and structural failure.
In the photo, we can see that the fence and building are not far away from the retainer. We have seen the soil washed out from some rain and irrigation water. The soil level has dropped the fence height, and A/C unit already and the building is only a few feet away.
Perhaps a general contractor with experience in the construction of a retaining wall in El Dorado County can help in the replacement of the wall. This would solve the erosion of the soil and help to maintain the safety of the building.
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