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Question DetailsAsked on 4/26/2014

concrete sawing

experience in all fazes of concrete install and removal

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We need a small portion of concrete removed to plant ivy on retaining wall.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9469665


For one thing, sawing a retaining wall is a BAD idea - you will be removing strength that it is supposed to have, and straight line, square corner cuts weaken it even more ands make it susceptibelto cracking and potentially failure. Plus, concrete sawing is expensive !

Also, ivy and similar tenacious tendril climbing plants are VERY bad for concrete (and pretty much all other) surfaces - you could easily cut the life of the wall in half by allowing ivy to grow on it.

If you insist on putting ivy on it, why not just place a wood trellis right in front of it for the ivy to climb on, or put metal hangers over the top of the wall to hang planters/pots from.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


The trench we're planning is on the horizontal; part of the driveway. I know from expierence that a walk-behlind saw can get within six inches or so from a wall. I expect that the cut out would be statisfactory.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9469665


Still BAD idea in my opinion -

For one thing, depending on design, that horizontal concrete at the base of the wall and up to as much as the height of the wall out from it may well be part of the wall foundation.

Secondly, putting a slot there will let water under your driveway, softening the subgrade and possibly eroding soil material, leading to premature driveway failure.

Third, leaving an open slot at the edge of the driving area like that makes it likely that driving close to the slot will cause the edge of the concrete to crack and sink.

Fourth, letting water and roots in there can damage both the driveway and the retaining wall by weakening the soil supporting them, and by actually removing soil - remember the plant takes minerals out of the ground to grow and does not replace them, leaving voids behind - just like potted plants need additional dirt or potting soil added every year or two as the plant consumes it. and icy suports a LOT of growth - hence, removes a lot of dirt.

Fifth - you may have a thickened slab on the driveway, where the edge 6 inches or so is thicker and has heavier reinforcement to keep the edge from breaking off, and also ties into themesh orrebar in the main partof the drive - cutting that free would weaken the driveway slab andpromote cracking, if you have that.

I still recommend against ivy or similar aggressive rootlet plant on a concrete or structural stone surface, but if you insist, why not just put a strip planter along the base of the wall, adding dirt and Jobs plant sticks periodically to feed it, and let it climb from there. Could use a series of plastic strip planters, or build a continuous wood one out of redwood or cedar, or even (though I like these less from a wallprotection standpoint) cast or build an asphalt or concrete or decorative stone or concrete block curb or low wall near and in front of the wall, fill dirt between it and the wall, and plant there - like a continuous low-level planter box. I am not keen on that water at the base of the retaining wall, but certainly better than cutting into the concrete - and if built with pavers or concrete wall blocks just sitting there, also easily removed in the future by you or a new owner who wants the full driveway width back.

Note - there are code required widths on driveways - if you infringe on that width, could come back to bite you come resale time, so be sure to check with building department on that first.

One thing I do not quite understand - why not just plant right behind the wall or in planters on the top, and let it drape down over it - climbing ivys will commonly drape down and cover a wall as well as climb, if you don't give them anything to climb up. That way you do not cut the concrete OR reduce the driveway width.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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