A retaining wall is a structure designed to hold back earth and prevent soil erosion. It can also be used to control drainage in a yard and create a flat area for construction.
Retaining walls come in many different forms and are constructed using several types of materials. They are built from various forms of concrete, steel, wood planks, and even aluminum. The material selected for a particular wall depends on the needs of the project, the budget, and the aesthetics of the design.
What Is a Retaining Wall?
When selecting a retaining wall, the first decision you need to make is what type of wall you want. There are many different options, including cast-in-place, sheet piles, and land clearing. To choose the best option for your project, you will need to learn a bit about each one.
Sheet pile walls are usually used in tight spaces and are made of steel, wood, or vinyl. Tie-back anchors can be used to help a wall stand up to heavy loads. You should consider the height of the wall, the size of the footing, and the setback angle when building a retaining wall. This may require the assistance of an engineer.
A retaining wall is also a good way to direct water flow in a yard or to keep water from flowing into the foundation of your house. However, it can be a safety hazard if it is improperly installed or maintained. Many municipalities levy heavy fines for improperly maintained spaces.
While it may seem like a no-brainer to build a retaining wall to halt the ravages of nature on your property, it is important to understand the complexities of soil and construction. If you build your wall too close to the soil, you might not have enough support for the weight of the material you are building. Likewise, if you are cutting into a hillside, you will need to construct a base deeper into the hill to provide stability.
Other factors to consider include the quality of the soil and how much pressure the back of the retaining wall will endure. The lateral pressure exerted by the soil behind the retaining wall will depend on the thickness of the material, the density of the backfill, and the vertical stress imposed on the material.
Another consideration is how large the retaining wall will be. In general, you will want to have a retaining wall that is at least as tall as the slope of the land. For example, if you are building a retaining wall on a hill, the block size and the shape will determine how big the retaining wall is.
Retaining walls are a great way to enhance the look of your property, increase the longevity of your home, and to improve the safety of your property. They are often used in commercial settings, like highway overpasses, but can be an important addition to any home or landscape. As with any construction project, retaining walls can be expensive and require a certain amount of knowledge and experience to properly construct.