All About Retaining Walls
So, What is a Retaining Wall?
A retaining wall is a structure designed to restrain soil in places where there is an elevation difference, to slope the soil away from where it can cause damage from erosion or to create a more usable space. Low walls are frequently used as planting beds or seating walls, adding visual interest to an otherwise flat yard.
And, How is a Retaining Wall Built?
It is helpful to understand what goes into a proper retaining wall design when selecting a contractor. Improperly built walls can lean, bulge, crack or even fall over. Because of this, ensure your contractor uses proper building techniques, And, don’t be afraid to ask for references
The grade, drainage and soil type all have a bearing on the type of wall used and it’s construction design.
Key Factors in Building a Retaining Wall
- Base. The base material is set below ground level. The taller the wall, the deeper the base required. Base must be compact and level to ensure a sturdy wall.
- Backfill – Granular backfill is installed directly behind the wall to allow for drainage when your wall is used to retain soil.
- Drainage – Proper drainage is important to ensure that water doesn’t build up behind your wall resulting in bulging and cracking. Backfilling may not be enough in some circumstances resulting in the need fro weeping tile or even weep holes.
- Wall Height – Residential walls are generally no more than 3-4 feet in height. This results in excellent strength without anchors or additional reinforcement. Higher walls require an engineered design or you can install multiple 3-4 ft walls in a terraced pattern.
Retaining Wall Trends
- The “conversation pit” or sunken seating area creates a cozy space in your yard. An area is excavated and reinforced by retaining walls on all sides. Often benches and fire pits are incorporated. Add steps to access the area.
- The Rinox Solino wall is a concrete wall product trending in our area. This modern, ledge-type look is very popular. And, it allows walls to incorporate a water feature.
If you’re ready to embark on a retaining wall project, we can help. Book online or give us a call at 905.638.0790 to get started.