When it comes to adding beauty to your landscaping, nothing beats the creative use of retaining walls. Retaining walls are important for keeping soil in place where your land has been contoured to better suit your living space. After all, dirt tends to travel downhill in a heavy rain when there’s enough slope and nothing to hold it back.
The foundation of your retaining wall is the concrete footer. After excavating the bed for your retaining wall, we construct a leveling pad of gravel, then pour a footer that is reinforced with rebar. We also set vertical rebar in the footer every 4′ to provide vertical support for the concrete block we use to construct your wall. With the variety of concrete block available today, your design options are limitless.
We use conventional construction block below the finished grade to save you money, but above grade most of our customers choose a split face block because it has a more attractive appearance. Using the rebar that was previously placed in the footer, we core fill the blocks with concrete for reinforcement. When a stronger wall is needed, like one time when we needed to brace up a garage that was at risk of collapsing, we will flow fill the entire block wall with concrete.
When designing a retaining wall, you must keep in mind that whatever is uphill will tend to move downslope due to gravity. This can put pressure on a poorly made retaining wall, causing it to buckle and collapse. To counteract the pressures created by the area being retained, we design retaining walls with a sufficient degree of setback. This makes the wall stronger and able to withstand the constant pressure from soil for many years.
Drainage is another big deal when it comes to your retaining wall. When water freezes, it expands. The pressure is enough to burst metal pipes and destroy retaining walls, so it’s essential that water doesn’t get trapped behind your wall. Water can be carried along the base of the retaining wall until it is dispersed into the ground beyond the wall’s length, or it can be passed through the wall using drainage pipe.Gravel that allows water to easily flow down to the drainage pipe is used as backfill behind the wall. We then use a sock pipe or perforated pipe to collect the water and drain it away from the wall.
Finally, we’ll cap your retaining wall with attractive block and in most cases, regrade the area both above and below your retaining wall to give your property a gentle slope with problem-free drainage. The end result is an attractive, maintenance-free retaining wall that will add value and appearance to your property for many years.
Do you need a new retaining wall, or need to replace an old one? Call us Today at (888) 884-2712 for a free, no-pressure estimate.
Parts and typical construction of a retaining wall.
Typical split-face concrete retaining wall block.