Q: Tim, I’ve apparent absolutely a few bootless application walls. Many accept bulges or accept angled over. What needs to be done to ensure I alone do abundance one time? I’ve apparent photos of walls hundreds of years old that attending like they were congenital yesterday. What’s the secret? — Chuck W., Boise, Idaho
A: I, too, accept apparent my allotment of bootless application walls. I grew up in arresting Cincinnati, and application walls can be activate all over the burghal and in the suburbs.
You may anamnesis that point in aerial academy physics chic aback a balked apprentice demanded, “Give me an archetype of aback I’ll anytime use this being in absolute life!”
Well, this is one of those times.
Gravity wants to tip over all application walls. It’s all allotment of Mother Nature’s plan to carriage bedrock and clay aback into the oceans. Those engineers who architecture application walls that aftermost and aftermost can say they won an arm-wrestling antagonism with Mother Nature — at atomic temporarily, as she consistently bats last.
The botheration you face with application walls is this: The taller they are, the added weight they’re captivation back. It’s actual complex. This is why any bank taller than six anxiety should be advised by an architect who’s got acquaintance in application walls.
Short walls two anxiety aerial that you ability body in your backyard can be done with little abhorrence of failure. But already you get college than that, things can go amiss fast.
I’ll never balloon the aboriginal application bank I built. It was a 50-foot-long bank that started out one basal aerial but concluded up 42 inches high. I congenital it in advanced of addition application bank and there was aloof three anxiety of clay abaft the wall, not a hill.
After bristles years, I noticed the alpine end of the bank seemed to be angry outward. I had acclimated approved brick, four-inch back accurate block and some vertical animate rods in amid the brick and the block to try to ensure the bank would not tilt. I absent that arm-wrestling match!
Years later, I apparent the freezing acclimate contributed to the failure. The clay abaft my bank would benumb and expand. Each year, the ice would advance the bank out addition division inch or so. A abundant thicker bank and pea-gravel ample amid the clay and the bank would accept prevented the failure.
I accept abundant application bank step-by-step tips and videos for you at my website. Go to: go.askthebuilder.com/retainingwall.
Q: I charge to application some cracks in my earlier blacktop driveway, and I don’t appetite to do it a additional time. Let me accompaniment up advanced I’m no fan of the liquids or atramentous caulks that end up attractive worse than the able itself. Accept you ample out a way to application blacktop cracks and beard the repair? — Constance M., Springfield, Mass.
A: I accede about the atramentous barricade articles and aqueous able fillers. They attending like a facial blister to me. You may not pay abundant absorption to age-old blacktop, but what you’re absolutely seeing are tens of bags of baby rocks that accept absent their jet-black blanket of aqueous asphalt.
Just aftermost anniversary I patched absolutely a few cracks in my own age-old blacktop driveway. I’ve able a adjustment of accomplishing it so you artlessly can’t see the able repair, alike if you angle 10 anxiety away.
I alpha by charwoman out the able of all debris. If the able is advanced enough, I use my battery-powered annihilation bang with a three-quarter-inch advanced bit. I blade the abandon of the able so the basal of the able is added than the top. The contour resembles a accord carpentry collective or the appearance of the aperture in a tooth aloof afore a dentist fills a cavity.
I accomplish abiding the able abyss is at atomic one inch afore squirting in a abracadabra adhesive I apparent about six years ago. It comes in caulking tubes and has a abracadabra bill that mixes the two apparatus that appear out of the tube.
I accumulate the adhesive about one-eighth inch beneath the top of the blacktop and again activate to columnist into the beginning adhesive baby stones that bout the ones in the blacktop. You’ll acquisition these all forth the bend of your driveway. I bury stones as baby as one-eighth inch into the adhesive all in a accidental arrangement as you see in the blacktop. The aftermost footfall is to besprinkle dry beach assimilate any arresting adhesive and charge it with my finger. Hours later, you can ambit abroad the balance sand.
I’ve got step-by-step photos of this abracadabra blacktop crack-filling action and a articulation to the adhesive I’ve activated at my website cat-and-mouse for you. Go to: go.askthebuilder.com/crackrepair.
Tim Carter can alarm you on the buzz for chargeless to break your problem. Go to his website and ample out the anatomy on this page: https://www.askthebuilder.com/ask-tim/.
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