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Allgood Construction Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

Things to know before building retaining walls.

Retaining walls can be used to create beautiful gardenscapes or to protect your dug-out house pads, driveways and pathways. Retaining wall is structured vertically to retain any material and prevent it from sliding, collapsing, eroding, slipping and erosion. Retaining walls can protect your home from natural calamities and can enhance the look of your home, however building them can be quite disruptive and costly. Here are some things that you need to consider before building a retaining wall :

  1. Materials:
    There are various types of material available for the construction of retaining walls each with their own features. Retaining wall cost can differ depending on the type of material so, in order to build a long-lasting retaining wall you’ll need to get the best quality material. The right quality material will offer the right elevation changes in your home. Timber walls look naturally blended with the landscapes whereas concrete walls are able to blend well with your home’s exterior.
  2. Drainage system:
    Retaining walls are built to hold up a specific amount of soil and if the drainage is not installed properly rain or water from a hose or other sources can build up overtime adding additional pressure to the wall. It is better to take professional retaining wall contractors help when installing a drainage system so that it can prevent water pressure from building up.
  3. Location:
    The base of the retaining walls must be dug well below the ground level because the taller the wall, the deeper the base needs to be dug. You may also need to add fencing above the walls which are four feet or taller. Before building retaining walls for your home’s exterior ensure to learn the local building codes.

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Different types of retaining walls.

It is important to get some retaining wall ideas from geotechnical engineers because every retaining wall design is different and there are several types of retaining walls available which includes:

  1. Gravity retaining walls: Gravity retaining walls are thicker and are usually constructed using brick, concrete or cement masonry. They rely on the gravitational force of their own weight to retain material behind them, achieving firm stability and preventing sliding and toppling.
  2. Cantilever retaining walls: Cantilever retaining walls are constructed using reinforced concrete with an L-shaped or inverted t-shaped foundation that consists of a thinner stem and base slab. The base slab of the cantilever walls are subdivided in two parts: heel and toe. While the heel is the base under the backfill, the toe is the other part of the base. Once built these walls take up little space in comparison to other retaining wall types.
  3. Embedded retaining walls: These retaining walls extend deeper than the excavation taking the advantage of passive earth pressure of the ground below. Embedded retaining walls can be constructed using a variety of methods depending on the condition of the ground, the excavation of watertight and the required retained depth.
  4. Reinforced soil retaining walls: Reinforced soil retaining walls are built in layers using the retained soil which are designed by geotechnical engineers. Each layer of the structure is reinforced with a geotechnical reinforcement and is just like plastic bunting but is designed to resist tensile forces.

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