Wall Failure from DeIcing Chemical

Fighting against the elements is an ongoing problem in the Midwest. In Minnesota, the extreme winter conditions and salt take a toll on everything from tar roads, to shingle roofs. Erosion not only wreaks havoc, but costs large sums of money to fix. In the case of this small block commercial retail retaining wall, salt deterioration created extensive damage in a short period of time.

The Salt Damage

Pictured above, the small retaining wall block sitting along the road edge had extensive deterioration due to salt. On the street above the wall, salt had been thrown down year after year. When the melting ice carried salt away from the road, water seeped behind the dry cast small block retaining wall. After several years of thaw/freeze cycles, the small block retaining wall crumbled and became unstable. Despite the wall’s complications, London Boulder had the perfect solution. 

The Restoration Process

When it came time to fix the damage, the entirety of the wall needed to be replaced. Because the salt deterioration occurred in the middle, the entire 8×180 foot wall was torn down. Both the contractor, Supreme Lawn & Landscaping, and the wall design engineer, Vickery Engineering & Consulting, got to work. When the dry cast small block retaining wall was originally installed, the road above was not yet built. Originally, geogrid was laid down to support the wall. But because of London Boulder’s block design, no geogrid was needed, and the roadway above remained undisturbed for the duration of the construction. 

London Boulder’s Solution 

Unlike small block retaining walls, the wet cast London Boulder blocks withstand deterioration and salt. Because of an air entraining agent in the block mix, air bubbles reduce the surface tension, giving London Boulder blocks the ability to withstand deterioration from the thaw/freeze cycle. Curious about how blocks fit together or what the base preparation looks like? Check out our installation overview!

Become a producer today!

At London Boulder, we believe that becoming a big block producer is more than earning turnkey profits for your business. When you build with London Boulder, you have the ability to create lasting statement pieces that last. Becoming a block producer is easier than you might think. To learn more about big block production, read our 3 Benefits of Becoming a Big Block Producer blog!

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