Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old.

A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of income during the Great Recession. Railroad tie walls have a limited life span, usually twenty years or so. Despite being infused with creosote, the wood slowly rots and the wall eventually fails. There is no way to prevent this or to repair a bowed and failing wall. You need a landscape architect to advise you on wall options. They are trained to supervise the building of a proper wall that won’t fall down.

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