A retaining wall refers to a protective structure that does the purpose of holding back the soil from any building or structure. They serve to fulfill both aesthetic and landscape functions. To talk of their functionality, they are built to hold back the ground that might otherwise fall down without the presence of a support. They provide the provision to have flat surfaces at elevated positions by stabilizing a sloped landscape. The size and set up of a retaining wall mostly depend on the slope and height of the ground. Retaining walls are quite effective in controlling flood as well. While constructing retaining wall channels, drainage pipes or any kind of outlets are integrated into it to make provision for proper drainage and water control.
Some advantages of constructing a retaining wall are discussed below:
- Beneficial In Avert Soil Erosion
Whether it is due to water or wind, soil erosion is a very common phenomenon. If there aren’t enough trees and shrubs to hold the soil, erosion becomes more massive. A retaining wall is very beneficial in such cases. A retaining wall ensures the well-being of your house, yard and nearby surrounding from landslides. It provides the much-needed support to the soil and reduces the surface runoff. By this, the speed of the water traveling over the surface is decreased and thereby, the erosion is considerably reduced.
- Helps To Expand The Usable Land In Sloppy Areas–
A retaining wall plays a significant role in keeping the soil in place. This is mostly applicable in hilly areas where the soil is prevented from falling down in a landslide by the construction of such walls. There are a lot of limitations related to construction in a sloppy or mountainous landscape. Retaining walls are beneficial in creating more usable space in high and steep parts of the land, inaccessible or unsafe otherwise.
- Attractive Structures And Ease Free Maintenance
Depending upon the height and material used, retaining walls are designed to be bold and attractive structures. They give you the opportunity to create a beautiful and unique landscape too. This has a great impact on the overall value of your property. Maintaining the retaining walls is not a tough task as the wall requires very low maintenance. It can easily endure adverse weather condition
Steps for Installing a Retaining Wall:
- First of all, a retaining wall should be built on a suitable base. Building a good base is an extremely crucial requirement in this case. The base should be made at least of an l six-inch layer of compacted soil.
- A properly compacted backfill is a must for a retaining wall. It means that there must be an adequate amount of dirt present behind the wall. A glandular backfill of at least six-inch must be installed behind the wall to provide a suitable drainage system and stability.
- A suitable drainage system is very important for a retaining wall. If there is no provision kept for the passing of water through the wall, it may cause heavy damage to it. It is so because when water gets collected, the pressure is built up behind the wall which ultimately causes damage in the form of bulging or cracking. In severe conditions, there are also high chances of the wall falling.
- You must determine the height of the wall properly before the construction of a retaining wall. It depends upon the load the wall has to bear. Residential retaining walls mostly have a height between 3 and 4 feet. This is the standard height to ensure perfect strength to the wall.
Be it for the purpose of landscape retention or to enhance the aesthetic appeal, retaining walls are undoubtedly a great investment and enhancement to your property. They are ideal to keep slopes like mounds or small hills beside your house from land sliding. If coupled well with a proper drainage system retaining walls can effectively reduce and control stormwater.