Retaining walls are a crucial part of any landscape. They direct the flow of a yard and protect your plants from damage. Without them, you would have a hard time enjoying the landscaping. However, there are many types of retaining walls available today. With so many options to choose from, how do you select the best one for your yard? Here, we will discuss the most common retaining wall materials, their basic design, and certain important construction considerations, but without getting into the topic of compaction or footing, as these are separate issues.
Retaining walls made of concrete generally come in two types – segmental and concrete block. Segmental ones are popular because they require simple installation and maintenance. In other words, you just drive the concrete into the ground and leave it there. You can also overlay it by using a trowel and a small amount of dirt. Epoxy coatings keep the concrete from weathering and peeling. Most of these blocks are square and do not require digging, although the more elaborate designs require deeper holes or a segmented design so that the concrete does not crack when installed.
Concrete block retaining walls are the easiest to install. Just form a straight wall by pouring concrete in a round shape, using a large trowel, and level the area where you want to build the retaining wall. Trowels are helpful because they can make things easier like cutting slits to fit around the edges of the concrete. A level surface is needed so that the concrete will not set.
In some cases, a retaining wall might require only a simple notch for easy cleaning. If not, you still need to create good drainage patterns so that excess water does not sit on the house. A basic method of creating good drainage is to have a perforated drain screen that allows water to be flushed away while draining away dirt and grime. This system works well with smaller materials like stones, bricks, and tiles, but the materials should be as strong as possible to hold up to any given size of concrete wall. Stones may crack or break if the water or debris gets backed up.
Earth retaining walls are usually constructed using one of two different methods. The first way is to build up the wall by placing thick slabs of earth at regular intervals along the perimeter. These slabs are then packed tightly together. A strong reinforcement device is then placed within the earth, which strengthens the wall even more. Earth retaining walls work very well with materials that can withstand extreme temperature changes.
The second way to construct retaining walls is to use retained material slabs that float on the top of a specially designed footing. This system resembles a skid steer and uses a roller to push the slabs into position. Several skids can be used to help with the process of lifting the blocks. This system is less effective with materials that are too dense to float.
There are many additional options when it comes to constructing a retaining wall. When choosing a material for the wall, it is important to make sure that the selected product will withstand severe weather conditions. A good selection should also help reduce any potential adverse effects from the surrounding soil. Certain types of soil may experience differential pressure because of the presence of another competing element.
Slip-back and hydrostatic pressure are some of the most common reasons that retaining walls deteriorate. Sliding is a more permanent solution that is often preferred. During construction, the retaining wall’s slanting occurs against a gradient, which increases the potential for slip and fall hazards. For this reason, the slanting of the retaining walls must be as gradual as possible. By using a slip-back or hydrostatic line, engineers and contractors can eliminate these issues.