With the retaining wall being made from concrete, it should physically last for 20+ years without any worries or major maintenance required.
However, a couple of minor issues related to the aesthetics do arise over time with coloured concrete, including:
- The colour starts to fade slightly
- Efflorescence caused by water and other material(fertilizer etc) can stain the wall
To prevent or reduce the occurrence of the above two issues, I sealed the wall with a concrete sealant purchased from the local hardware store.
To prepare, I used a strong bristle scrubbing brush to clean up the dirt that was stuck to the wall. After that was done, I gave all exposed areas two coats of the sealant, making sure I got to every little detail of the wall. I had to do most of it with a long bristle paint brush due to the nature of the patterned surface. I tried using a roller but it was just not getting to all the little nooks of the wall.
Needless to say it took a while, but I think it will be well worth it in the long run.
Here is what it looked like after applying the sealant. The sealant gives the wall a slightly wet look all year around and its not overly shiny. Here it is reflecting some of the light around sunset
I was able to apply the sealant while the landscapers were off site. With the weather being very hot and dry, the sealant dried in about 30 minutes allowing the second coat to be applied on the same day.