Have you ever driven down a nice country road lined with a neatly constructed rock wall lining the roadway beneath a steep hill? Or maybe a highway with a concrete wall cleverly placed beneath a steep slope? That’s a retaining wall and it’s there for a reason which has nothing to do with aesthetics.
What is a Retaining Wall?
Retaining walls keep soil in place preventing it from sliding down a hill creating a large, sometimes unnavigable mess, or accident. A retaining wall gives a slope stability and can be used in many places along your property.
Why are Retaining Walls Used?
Retaining walls are used to keep soil and rock from sliding down a steep slope or hill and ending up in the road, on the sidewalk, or crashing into a building. They are also used to prevent landslides and to stop erosion from happening.
Where Can Retaining Walls be Used?
Retaining walls can be used in many places where a slope has the potential to slide.
- Along Driveways
- Along Roadsides
- Along Railways
- Beneath Terraces
- Around Parking Lots
- Places that Need Different Elevations
Retaining Wall Materials
Types of Retaining Walls
Gravity Walls: Typically made from heavy materials such as stone or concrete. The wall uses gravity from the heavy materials to improve the stability of the wall.
Cantilevered Walls: Typically made from mortared masonry, internal stem of steel – reinforced, or cast in place concrete. Cantilevered walls use fewer materials than gravity walls.
Sheet Pile Walls: Typically made from vinyl, steel, fiberglass, wood planks, or plastic sheet piles and are used in soft soil or places without a lot of room. This type of retaining wall requires drainage behind it.
Anchored Walls: Uses cables or other types of stays which are stuck into the soil or rock behind them with boring.
Gabion Meshes: Gabion meshes are made from wire mesh boxes and filled with a material such as crushed stone. These are used to prevent erosion.
Soil Nailing: Soil nailing is used to reinforce retaining walls, soil slopes, or other types of excavations by installing a thinner material such as reinforced bars into pre-drilled holes.
If you’re having erosion problems or are worried about a possible landslide happening on your property, consider a retaining wall. Talk to a trusted general contractor who will help you determine which type of retaining wall is best for your needs and have them install it for you or do it yourself.