Waterproofing Retaining Walls – Top Tips from Experts

The vertical nature of a retaining wall makes it versatile and it can be used to generate useful spaces and elevations. There are many reasons to why a retaining wall is built – it can be built for aesthetic purposes, as a divider to create a usable space or for more critical reasons such as control erosion and prevent landslips at a sloping site. Whatever reason a retaining wall is built for, making sure that it is intact and safe is equally important.

On top of the design and depth of which the retaining wall is built from, ensuring that the wall is not damaged from water sources should be given high priority. One way to do this is by having proper drainage and another way which is often neglected is waterproofing. 

In Malaysia, experienced contractors such as CHEMIND use tried and tested methods to ensure the integrity of a retaining wall is always safeguarded. Here are some reasons to why waterproofing a retaining wall is a must:

Reduce hydrostatic pressure

Accumulation of water behind a retaining wall increases the lateral forces acting on it. The more water accumulated, the greater the hydrostatic pressure and this not only can create massive cracks on the porous concrete but also topple over the wall if the force is strong enough. For retaining walls that are designed to hold a mass of earth in a busy area, the failed integrity can be extremely dangerous. 

Prevent steel rod corrosion

Without proper waterproofing, water seepage may cause the steel supporting rod to rust and corrode. Deterioration of the steel rod is dangerous over the long term as it may cause the wall to expand and crack which will lead to more serious structural damages.

Avoid migration of water from the drainage system

Water does not only naturally collects into untreated retaining walls, but also seeps through the drainage system. Waterproofing contractors will apply special membranes to ensure that there are no exposed seams that allow water to penetrate through the drainage system to the retaining wall.

Waterproofing a retaining wall is not a matter of choice. You can avoid damages and dangers if the retaining wall is treated from the very moment it is built. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry. 

CHEMIND Malaysia is a highly experienced retaining wall waterproofing contractor and supplier offering a wide range of products that are suitable for waterproofing retaining walls and backfilling them with proper protection boards.  

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