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Old 06-25-2006, 02:52 PM   #1
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Last September we had the driveway widened and a new retaining wall put in to make room for the camper. Well, after a good day of rain and storms here in Central PA, the retainning wall has failed, and dropped a brick wall on the back of our trailer, and the front of the truck. Luckily the damage was limited to the ladder being bent, a broken side and tail light on the trailer, the braket for the spare tire is broken, and a dented and bent bumper on the truck. There was no damage to the fiberglass. We have already contacted the contractor and waiting to hear back from the president of the company to see if they are going to do the right thing. This is also a testiment to the quality of the BAL locking tire chocks. We have the landing gear on leveling blocks. The forse of the wall falling against the trailer did not move an inch. We use one chock on each side of the trailer, and thank God they kept it from being pushed forward and off the blocks, or we would be dealing a lot more damage.





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Old 06-25-2006, 02:52 PM   #2
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Last September we had the driveway widened and a new retaining wall put in to make room for the camper. Well, after a good day of rain and storms here in Central PA, the retainning wall has failed, and dropped a brick wall on the back of our trailer, and the front of the truck. Luckily the damage was limited to the ladder being bent, a broken side and tail light on the trailer, the braket for the spare tire is broken, and a dented and bent bumper on the truck. There was no damage to the fiberglass. We have already contacted the contractor and waiting to hear back from the president of the company to see if they are going to do the right thing. This is also a testiment to the quality of the BAL locking tire chocks. We have the landing gear on leveling blocks. The forse of the wall falling against the trailer did not move an inch. We use one chock on each side of the trailer, and thank God they kept it from being pushed forward and off the blocks, or we would be dealing a lot more damage.





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Old 06-25-2006, 03:17 PM   #3
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Rick;
What a shame. The damage could have been much worse. It looks to me like it was not anchored back properly. I hope your contractor takes responsibility for it.

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Old 06-25-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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The wall is about 6' high, and I did not see one anchor. Our new neighbor down the street is a landscaper, and said by code there should be GEO Straps for a wall this high to keep it from falling over the way it did. They also did not use a corrugated pipe at the base of the wall to help relieve the water buid up from behind the wall. So Iguess with the preusure of the water in the ground and no retaining straps, it was just a mater of time. The scary thing is there was no signs of a problem before this. The wall had been solid since it was installed.
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:42 PM   #5
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I don't see any signs of any mortar holding those blocks together, were they dry stacked without being cemented together?
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:27 AM   #6
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They are dry stacked retaining wall block. They have a lip on the back edge and interlock with the row below. They do not use mortar with this type of block, and if installed properly, do not need to.
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Old 06-26-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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That's called a decorative wall, not a "retaining wall". A retaining wall would have had drainage and anchors back into the hillside. As can be readily seen, it didn't "retain" anything.

It's true, though, that the blocks are usually not mortared these days. It's actually better to let water seep through the cracks than to try to seal it tight. And this sort of block is designed to stand without mortar.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:10 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
That's called a decorative wall </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not to decorative now either. After doing a lot of research today and talking to several landscapers and our insurance adjuster, I have learned a lot. The two biggest missing things were no drainage behind the wall, and block retaining walls over 3' high should have some type of reinforcement behind it tying it into the ground. The contractor did file a claim with his insurance company, so we are now waiting to hear from their claims adjuster, but the contractor kept trying to blame the weather the entire time he was here to look at the damage. Hopefully they will own up to their mistakes and make good on everything.
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:31 AM   #9
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My first thought when I saw your pictures was, "praise the Lord there was noone there when it happened!" Every time the contractor brought up the weather being to blame, I would have said "I am so glad my kid/grandkid was not standing there when it fell." Maybe he would have gotten the hint. That was a major safety violation on his part. Well, now that you know, you can watch them when they fix it and tell them how to do it right.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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Most good companies have what is called "Errors and Omissions" insurance to cover mistakes they may make when doing a job. Premiums are usually pretty low dollar, so many companies do buy the coverage. Your type of incident should most certainly be covered by E & O insurance. If it is E & O insurance the insurance company will make everything right. May even have another contractor repair the wall for you.

An engineering firm I know was removing underground gas tanks and nicked another business's sewer line. Appropriately patched the line and closed the hole. Rained for 2 or 3 days, dirt in hole settled, sewer line failed at patch resulting in sewage and rainwater backing up into business. Destroyed many thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. Insurance company stepped in and took care of it all. Owner of the business was a real PITA to deal with even after he was told it would be taken care of. Engineering firm decided they didn't want to deal the owner and told insurance company they didn't want to do the repair work. Insurance company understood and took care of it all. Business owner made out like a bandit, but wasn't satisfied. He got top dollar for old merchandize that wasn't selling and new carpet and interior paint.

Obviously, your contractor, is a little under staffed in the engineering department.

I hope everything is taken care of to your satisfaction. Be patient but firm.

Curt
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