Create a retaining wall today

How Do I Stop Damp Coming Through My Retaining Wall

Damp can be a serious issue if it is in a structure, this includes retaining walls. But are there any ways to prevent this? Or is it impossible due to retaining walls being outside and exposed to the elements?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘How do I stop damp coming through my retaining wall?’

At PPC Concrete Products, we are here to provide solutions for your construction needs, from the person working on their part-time project to commercial clients, and everyone in between.

Monthly construction output had risen an estimated 1.6% value in June 2023, and we would like to think our accessible concrete products had a small part to play by giving our clients easy access to reliable and easy-to-use construction solutions.

Aren’t retaining walls designed to withstand moisture?

Aren’t retaining walls designed to withstand moisture?

Yes, to a degree. As long as a retaining wall is constructed properly, with considerations towards drainage, and waterproofing methods, a retaining wall can easily withstand and not be affected by moisture for years.

However, if these considerations are not made, in some cases, you can instantly see the retaining wall struggling to deal with excess moisture, this can come in the form of…

  • Puddles at the top of the retaining wall.
  • Leaks in areas aside from the drainage (If there is any drainage).
  • The retaining wall bending abnormally.
  • Mould or damp appearing from the retaining wall.

Can a retaining wall fall because of moisture?

Over time, it is very possible for a retaining wall to be impacted because of moisture. This can result in the retaining wall falling. This is due to the additional weight brought on by the soil absorbing water, which has not been removed due to improper drainage.

Although the retaining wall won’t fall instantly, you will notice that the retaining wall begins to lean over time.

How do I stop damp coming through my retaining wall?

How do I stop damp coming through my retaining wall?

Preventing damp in your retaining wall is possible. This can be done by addressing internal issues, or applying external solutions.

However, if you are already dealing with the effects of damp on your retaining wall, we would recommend consulting a professional first before undertaking any of the solutions we will highlight below.

By consulting a professional, they may be able to spot any structural issues that would have still caused problems if you went ahead and applied damp-proofing products on the retaining wall.

Internal fixes for a damp retaining wall:

  • If your retaining wall has a gutter, make sure it is clear from debris.
  • Ensure the drainage capabilities for your retaining wall are still in full effect. You will be able to assess the effectiveness of your drainage by checking if there is any pooling of water on the grassy area of the wall.
  • If there are any damages on the retaining wall, this can contribute to moisture escaping where it shouldn’t result in damp. Repairing these issues can once again make the wall more resistant against damp.

External fixes for a damp retaining wall:

  • Applying a liquid membrane over the retaining wall will grant an excellent level of waterproofing for your retaining wall. It creates a rubberised coating over the chosen area, which prevents water penetration. Using a good quality liquid membrane can ensure protection for up to ten years, and longer in some cases.
  • Applying a Damp Proof Course or ‘DPC’ can be effective for severe damp issues. This also includes applying a liquid membrane to the wall, but through an alternative means.

What is the difference between a liquid membrane and DPC?

Although the aim of both a liquid membrane and damp proof courses (DPC) are the same, which is to prevent moisture from penetrating a retaining wall. However, their effectiveness, and application are not similar. Let’s break them both down.

Liquid membrane:

  • This application is suitable for instances of moderate damp. The membrane is waterproof and repels moisture from the soil.
  • Durability is subject to the quality of the product you choose. Regardless, it may need reapplication, especially if they are exposed to the sun or receive strong physical impact.

Damp Proof Course (DPC):

  • Damp Proof Course has a more complicated application process. They can either be a sheet membrane or a kind of cream that is installed within the wall itself. This is almost always done during the construction of the retaining wall, applying this retroactively can be an exhaustive and complicated process.
  • This application is more suitable for instances of severe dampness. This method of waterproofing creates a barrier within the wall structure. It offers superior resistance to water penetration and pressure exerted by water. (Hydrostatic pressure).
  • Due to being within the wall itself, a DPC can last longer than liquid membrane applications. But it can be compromised if there are significant damages to the wall itself.

What can be used for a retaining wall?

What is the most versatile concrete block?

In terms of constructing options, you can use regular bricks for a retaining wall, wood, metal, and concrete blocks. All of which have their own pros and cons. But for unequivocally the best option, it would make sense to use an option that is heavy, durable, long-lasting, and doesn’t require extensive additional materials. But is there such an option?

Yes, there is.

One of the most effective resources you can use when it comes to creating a retaining wall are Interlocking Concrete Blocks. These special pre-cast blocks do not require mortar in order to create a long-lasting and effective connection.

Interlocking Concrete Blocks connect to each other via studs and recesses at the top and bottom of the blocks, respectively. Individually, concrete blocks are heavy, but once they are joined, they provide an excellent counterweight against exceedingly heavy applications like a retaining wall.

Considering the fact they do not require mortar to connect, it is safe to say you will be saving money that would otherwise be spent on binding materials, and even some labour costs. But what actually makes Interlocking Concrete Blocks special? Well, a lot of things.

Here is a list of some of the uses that Interlocking Concrete Blocks can facilitate.

  • Material Storage bays
  • Blast walls
  • Salt stores
  • Crash protection
  • Push walls
  • Security barriers
  • Segregation bays, i.e. recycling centres
  • Retaining walls
  • Industrial buildings
  • Fire breaks
  • Counterweights
  • Roadblocks

What are the advantages of interlocking concrete blocks?

  • Longer lasting and more durable than a Gabion basket
  • Quicker and less hassle to install
  • No need for mortar, saving you money and time
  • No need for steel reinforcement or shuttering
  • Resistant to extreme weather conditions
  • Fire-resistant properties, mitigating the spread of fire depending on the structure
  • Little maintenance required
  • Often, no foundation is needed before installing
  • Sound resistant
  • Sustainable
  • Ability to stack them upon each other
  • Flexibility in sizes
  • Appropriate for temporary and/or permanent buildings
  • Unlikely to be displaced due to the interlocking function

Enquire about retaining walls today

As an established supplier all over the UK, PPC Concrete Products is always happy to help, which is why we encourage you to get in touch with any questions you may have or have a look at our FAQ.

In this blog, we hope to have answered the question ‘How do I stop damp coming through my retaining wall?’ Whilst also providing extra information in regard to construction solutions that we offer.

Take a read of our case studies to truly understand how we have provided solutions for business in the past with the use of our interlocking concrete blocks, and ultimately, how we can help you today.

Read our blog page for more insights into our passion, construction.


The Old Gasworks,

Higginshaw Lane,




Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday – 8 AM until 4 PM

Tel: 01706 655245


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google