Should I Clean my Retaining Wall?

Whether you have erosion concerns, drainage issues, or just a need for structural variety in your garden,  a retaining wall is a strong feature to add to your hardscaping plan. Our team at A&N Lawn Service has made us the leading specialist for retaining walls in the Pittsburgh area, and we have some tips for maintaining that freshly installed glow!

Retaining Wall

Should I clean my retaining wall?

Your retaining wall sits outside in every weather, so does it really need cleaned?

The answer is absolutely yes! The nature of nature is growth, and when plants grow, their tiny but mighty root systems can be destructive even on retaining wall blocks. While moss can be an attractive natural addition to a retaining wall, invasive creeping vines and weeds can cause minute damage that builds up to a bigger issue over time.

Plus, a retaining wall that is protecting against erosion or drainage issues is still enduring those elements. Therefore it is vitally important to do your part to keep mildew, dirt, and plant materials at bay to best protect the value and integrity of your retaining wall.

Small changes can create big waves! A little cleaning with materials you likely already have in your home can both maintain the functionality and the beauty of your retaining wall for years to come. 

Retaining Wall with steps

What will I need?

Firstly, you will need to know the material of your wall blocks. The most common are stone, brick, and concrete.

For any type of block, experts recommend a standard garden hose with a sprayer attachment. 

Cover any plants that could be negatively impacted by chemicals or moisture, and then gently spray the retaining wall until it is thoroughly soaked. You can just soak a small section that needs cleaned, or the entire wall. 

How do I Clean My Retaining Wall?

You know your material, your retaining wall is prepped, your greenery and plants are protected. Let’s take a closer look at the types of wall block and how to best maintain their beauty. 


Cleaning a stone retaining wall requires a powerful degreaser. Add to the sprayer reservoir, apply to the prepared wall, and let sit 10-15 minutes before spraying clean on a high pressure setting on your hose. 


Brick retaining walls require a gentler hand. Add regular dish soap to the sprayer reservoir, apply to the prepared wall, and use a toothbrush or similar soft-bristled brush to scrub areas that require greater attention. Rinse afterwards with clean water.


Concrete retaining walls are the hardiest when it comes to cleaning. Add bleach to your sprayer reservoir and use a high setting to combat stains buildup.

two tiered retaining wall

And now, congratulations on your clean retaining wall! Your investment will have an even longer life because of the care you put into it. 
Concerns about your retaining wall? Or perhaps you’d like to have one installed now that you know maintenance is approachable? The great news is, we’re approachable too! Contact us to get answers to your retaining wall questions today.