Broken concrete retaining wall

Broken concrete retaining wall

Do you live near the sloped ground or on a hill and are looking for ways to landscape there in ecological ways? Or are you looking for uses for broken concrete pieces in some meaningful way but don’t know how to use them?

Whatever the reason you’re reading this is, I’ve tried my best to describe how to make a broken concrete retaining wall on your property. It’s a simple project, but I warn you that you will feel like working while doing it.

Reusing broken concrete to create a retaining wall is affordable, simple, and environment-friendly. You can make it with only or primarily free and recycled materials. Materials that would otherwise take up space at the already full landfill. Instead of using poison-coated dead trees or carbon dioxide-intensive fresh concrete, this article will show how to build a broken concrete retaining wall.

Broken concrete is easy to locate since it is costly to take and dispose of at a landfill site. Usually, there are ads in the ‘free’ section of Craigslist where people can let you come and pick it up. It will save them money, so they are happy to let you take them.

Many significant contractors are even providing it for free, and some will even supply it! Driveways and patios are the best outlets since they are flat and easy to stack. Destroyed concrete walls or slabs might make bad retaining walls as they can have rebar.

Ensure you don’t overload your truck or trailer because the concrete is heavy. You’re going to be overloaded long before the bed is complete. Concrete is very dense, so loading your truck or trailer carefully is good. This way, you avoid damage to your vehicle, check its carrying capacity, and plan accordingly.

Retaining wall trench

Building the broken concrete wall

Once you’ve got a big pile of broken concrete, you’ll need a shovel, a hand tamper, and some base rock. Next, take the most significant pieces out of your stack. They’re going to go on the bottom row.

Step 1: Measure how comprehensive the concrete parts are and dig a trench at least as vast. A foot or two wider when creating a French drain next to it. It’s also deep enough to be a quarter of the total height of the wall.

For those new to it, a French drain is next to our retaining wall. It’s a perforated pipe under the gravel that will help the water to travel away. It might be worth considering if the concrete retaining wall is in a watery place.

Consult with the contractor or engineer before installing a wall more than three feet above the ground. Go three more inches deeper if you use base rock. This is not necessary but is recommended. It will improve the stability of your wall.

Step 2: When your retaining wall trench has been dug, ensure the bottom is smooth and tamp any loose soil. This will make our building more manageable as the ground won’t be giving in when the weight starts to add. Then, pour about four inches of loose baser on the rim. Flatten it out, too, and tamp it down. It’s meant to be lightweight down to around three inches.

Now, you’re ready to start the first row.

Step 3: Play around with various combinations of pieces to see which ones fit together. Knowing the pieces you’re working with is the most important thing you can do to create a good wall. You can sort them by size and shape when you unload your truck or trailer to make it easier.

Sorting them is less work as it will save you time. You have to lift them off anyway. It’s way easier to pick them from the sorted ground than try to look them up from the vehicle.

Step 4: Make sure the top of the row is level. It is helpful to use the bubble level for this. The row should stay at a uniform width. The retaining wall is only as strong as the base that it’s built on, so take your time doing it.

Use loose dirt or baser to fill under pieces and level the row. Then, use small pieces to serve with the width behind the large ones. Don’t use small bits in front of big ones.

Step 5: For each row, use progressively smaller bits. The retaining walls should not be vertical. They should lean back ten degrees to the ground they retain. This way, the retaining wall won’t flip over so quickly due to the land weight.

Fill the dirt behind every row after it’s constructed. This way, it will be easier to build the next row partially on top of this dirt. You could also tamp it so it will be compact to build upon.

Step 6: Putting the filter cloth behind the wall is a safe way to prevent the mud and the soil from leaking. It must be in place right after building the first row. Then, use gravel instead of loose dirt for leveling.

Now our broken concrete retaining wall is ready. French drains are an intelligent option in a rainy location with clay soils. The construction of one of these with a damaged concrete retaining wall needs some preparation.


Recycling materials is always a good thing, and projects that make use of things that would otherwise end up in landfills are an excellent way to be eco-friendly. Broken concrete retaining walls are a great example of this.

They take something that is essentially useless and turn it into something useful for your garden or yard.

Using broken concrete for landscaping can also give your outdoor space a vintage feel, reminiscent of the past when things were built to last. It can be a great way to decorate your garden or yard and add a touch of history to your outdoor space.

Another advantage of using broken concrete for landscaping is that it can be a cost-effective option. Many people are happy to give away these materials for free, as they are heavy and difficult to dispose of.

By using them for your landscaping project, you can save money and help the environment at the same time.

For the best results, it’s a good idea to encourage grass to grow on the retaining wall. This will help to mask the concrete pieces and create a seamless finish for your wall. If you want to take your project to the next level, you can also try to encourage other plants to grow on the concrete surface.