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Maintenance of Retaining wall
Retaining walls require care and maintenance just like any other construction project. George Newyear’s RT block will need far less care but there are some key activities to be looked at:
Grading: It is very common for newly built walls to undergo extra settlement even after very good compaction. Although it is rare for extra settlement to occur, we have assumed and thus made provisions for inspection of the walls periodically to detect and correct any irregularity before they occur.
The retaining wall has been designed to route water around the face of the wall thus controlling hydrostatic and lateral earth pressure. Any settlement or depression unchecked and not corrected may form a low spot behind the wall and collect water. The water may seep down behind the wall. These depressions may cause pooling effect which will turn the soils behind the wall to be saturated, thus unbalancing the weight of the wall. Please note that the wall has been designed to hold up added weight and reduce blow out, however, we strongly recommend that water from the top of the wall must be properly managed in order to keep the wall stable.
Surface treatment: we highly recommend that the surface areas at the top surrounding the retaining wall to be furnished with some type of landscape treatment. This might include pavement, landscape planting, seeding for turf, or some type of ground cover. The surface treatment provides an important function for the wall by capturing, controlling, and routing water from rainfall and surface runoff. It is recommended that surface treatment be checked regularly until it is completely established.
Weed growth: Just as with concrete and asphalt pavement, MSE walls can find an occasional weed growth on the face. Allowed to stay in place, one weed can multiply to become a veritable forest. This can happen anytime. By removing the weeds that find their way into the wall, the wall will be free of weed for life. Spraying the wall to kill weeds once annually may be considered.
Wall performance: The RT block has been designed to last a lifetime. The high strength concrete units have been manufactured to perform in Ghana’s weather conditions. The blocks will not rot nor decay. However, we recommend that an annual inspection of the wall must be carried out to monitor for any settlement. The minor settlement will not hurt the structural integrity of the wall. However, if it happens, we will unstack blocks in the affected area, raise the settled spot, recompact, and restack blocks. It is highly unlikely that overturning will occur with the RT block’s tan-1(0.25) angle, as moment-resisting overturning is very high against the moment causing overturning, however, we recommend annual checkup to spot any significant movement or rotation in the wall which is not likely to occur. Please refer to the analysis report for further information.
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