A retaining wall refers to a structure that retains any material usually soil and prevents it from eroding or sliding away. It is designed so as to resist the pressure of the material holding it back. According to Bradford Retaining Walls several materials can be used to design retaining walls such as rocks, concrete blocks, boulders, poured concrete and treated timber. While some are easy to use others have a short life span. Retaining walls not only help with water drainage and erosion but also creates a beautiful garden space.
How to build a short retaining wall
Although building a retaining wall is bit tough, most homeowners can do it as long as they can lift heavy materials. For you to build one, you need to have a level, work gloves, tape measure, shovel, and field stones. First, you need to dig a 12-inch deep trench and create a level surface before laying down any field stone. For a good stability at the base, you need to put a layer of large stones. Ensure that the top is at finished grade so as to allow runoffs. Finally, you need to fill it with crushed stones.
Type of retaining walls
For a long time, many different retaining wall materials have helped to change the landscape where we live in. Some common products include wall stones, railroad ties, treated timber, natural stones, bricks and concrete blocks. While wood is one of the best choices for building retaining walls, it has a short lifespan that makes it a poor choice. Although rocks, stones, and boulders can be used to create beautiful retaining walls, their installation is expensive and labor intensive. More so, maintaining them can be challenging because they may erode very fast.
Another good option is mortared retaining walls or cast in place retaining walls. These can be built with a variety of flagstones, veneers, and bricks which adds style and texture. Unfortunately, they are rigid and do not move with earthquakes and other climate changes.
Gravity retaining walls
Gravity retaining walls usually depends on their mass to resist the pressure and may have the best setback to enhance stability by lying back towards the soil. This type of wall can be constructed using stone, concrete or brick masonry. The good thing about them is that they are much thicker. More so, their geometry also helps them to remain stable for a long time.
What to consider when building retaining walls
Building retaining walls is usually driven by factors such as the cost, ground water conditions, requited wall height, and the speed of construction.