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Why Are Retaining Walls Important?
A retaining wall is important for several reasons. First, it provides a visual barrier between land areas and flat surface. Second, it prevents erosion, structural failure, and soil loss. Third, it protects against moisture and water damage. Fourth, it helps create privacy and security in a functional space. Fifth, it adds aesthetic appeal with decorative landscaping elements. Sixth, it creates a focal point for landscaping using a specific soil type or natural stone. Finally, it keeps weeds out of gardens to maintain a fresh yard and beautiful spaces.
Retaining walls are used to protect the landscape from erosion or soil loss by serving as drainage of water and preventing runoff into waterways that cause extreme pressure. They can also be used to provide privacy and to add an attractive feature to your yard.
A retaining wall is made up of stone, brick, concrete, metal, wood, or other materials that are held in place with cement or mortar. The type of wall you choose depends on many factors including budget, location, style, and more. If you're interested in learning more about different types of retaining walls, check out our blog post here.
Types Of Retaining Walls
There are two main categories of retaining walls: freestanding and attached. Freestanding walls are those that stand alone without any attachment to another structure. Attached walls are those that attach to another structure.
Freestanding walls can be either gravity or pressure-retained. Gravity-retained walls use their own weight to keep them upright. Pressure-retained walls have anchors embedded in the ground below the wall that holds them in place.
Gravity-retained walls can be either free-standing or semi-permanent. Free-standing walls don't require any additional support. Semi-permanent walls need to be anchored to something else in tight spaces to prevent them from toppling over.
The attached walls can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary walls are meant to last only for a short period of time. Permanent walls are meant to stay in one spot for years.
Temporary walls can be either temporary (also known as "stick-on") or permanent. Stick-ons are designed to be removed after they've served their purpose. Permanent stick-ons are meant to remain in place permanently.
What Are The Purposes of Retaining Walls in Construction?
Retaining walls serve several purposes during a construction project. Some of these include:
How Does a Retaining Wall Prevent Erosion?
Soil erosion occurs when loose dirt is washed down hillsides and carried by streams and rivers. When this happens, it erodes the top layer of soil, which leads to the formation of gullies. These gullies allow water to flow downhill through the soil, causing erosion along its path and foundation failure.
When a retaining wall is built, it creates a physical barrier between the soil and the stream. This is a way to control erosion and avoid excess moisture damage.
Retaining Wall Drainage and Backfill
If you want your retaining wall to drain properly, you'll need to backfill around the base of the wall aside from maintaining a drain pipe. You can do this using soil or gravel as backfill materials. Gravel works best because it allows water to pass through easily. However, it requires frequent maintenance. The soil drains better than gravel but doesn't work well with heavy rains. If you're unsure what type of material to use, ask a professional about the design purposes of retaining walls.
In some cases, retaining walls may not be enough to contain a certain water level. For example, if you live near a lake or river, you might need a dam. A dam will help prevent flooding by holding back the flow of water. However, dams can be expensive and require regular upkeep just to prevent the buildup of water. You might also consider building a levee instead. Levees are made from earth and/or concrete and are less expensive than dams. They can be built anywhere along a stream's path without concerns of exposure to water.
A retaining wall should be at least 4 inches high so that any rainwater will flow away from the foundation and prevent any form of water drainage issues. If the wall is lower than this, it's likely to result in excessive foundation pressure and can become soggy and develop leaks.
Retaining Wall Design For Your Patio and Steep Slopes
If you have a steep slope in your yard, you might want to build a retaining wall. This kind of wall helps keep water from running down the hillside and damaging your house. It also prevents erosion, which can lead to landslides.
If you have a pond in a residential or commercial space, you might want to create a dam. This is an in-depth barrier that keeps water from flowing over the edge of the pond. A dam construction project is similar to retaining wall construction. The difference is that a dam doesn't have to be as tall as a retaining wall.
You don't always need a retaining wall to build a patio in your outdoor space. In fact, most people who build patios simply lay bricks on the ground. But if you plan to add a deck to your backyard, you'll probably need a retaining wall to also improve your curb appeal. There are two main types of retaining walls for decks: freestanding and attached.
Freestanding walls are usually built from brick or stone. They stand alone and aren't attached to anything else. The first step in designing a retaining wall for your deck is deciding how much space you need. Then, decide whether you want a freestanding or an attached wall. Next, choose from a wide variety of materials based on your budget and design preferences. Finally, consult a professional about how to build the wall safely.
What is normally done to prevent water from building up behind a retaining wall?
There are several ways to stop water from accumulating behind different wall types. One way is to install weep holes. Weeping holes let water escape from the wall. They're located directly above the joints between each course of masonry.
Another option is to dig a trench next to the wall. Water flows into the trench and then out through the lowest depth of the wall. Trenches must be dug carefully. Otherwise, they could cause structural failure.
Another method of preventing water from backing up behind a retaining wall is to use a drainage system. These systems consist of pipes that carry water away from the wall. They can be installed either inside or outside the wall.