Technology

A Basic Guide to Retaining Walls

More often than not, homes are built imperfect land parcels that contain mineral deposits, slopes, or angles in various spots of the construction site. It is for this very reason that excavation work is almost always needed to level the ground before pouring a foundation.

However, excavation is rarely for the entirety of the property and you might still encounter slopes and terrain variations in your backyard or garden. These imperfections might also form over time as a result of natural processes such as weathering and erosion. One of the best ways to keep the slopes under control is to raise retaining walls where needed.

What Is a Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall is a structure that supports a wedge of soil, modifying its slope to create more space or prevent corrosion. Humans have used them for millennia in agriculture, landscaping, construction, and water damage control. Ancient civilizations worldwide built retaining walls for the same purposes, and we still use this simple yet effective design today.

When and Where to Install Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can prove to be essential in your backyard or garden if you:

  • Have slopes on your property that have increased with time due to the deposit of erosion materials. A retaining wall can help to prevent the further movement of soil.
  • Need more space for a driveway, patio, fireplace area, or other construction project. By holding back soil with a retaining wall, you can create a wider flat area around your home.
  • Have your home located downhill from a soil fault line or sliding hill.

Different Styles of Retaining Walls

Depending on their function, retaining walls vary in style and engineering. You should first determine what kind of retaining wall to build. If you want to build a retaining wall, consider seeking advice from landscaping or construction professionals.

Here are three common types of retaining walls that you can consider:

  • Gravity retaining walls: the simplest way to build a retaining wall is with concrete sleepers, pavers, or timber.
  • Cantilever retaining walls: When the wedge of soil slopes at a tight angle or tends to push with greater force, a cantilever retaining wall can support it. It doesn’t need added thickness because it has a buried foundation that receives most soil weight.
  • Embedded retaining walls: This type of wall fits underground projects like basements or underground parking. They are usually reinforced with internal propping or anchors.

Get Your Retaining Wall Supplies at Fulton Brickyard

When building a new retaining wall on your property, it’s crucial for you to use only the highest quality materials and supplies to ensure the safety of your family and your property.

Here at Fulton Brickyard, we offer a variety of bricks and paving supplies such as concrete sleepers and pavers that you can use for your next retaining wall or other construction project. Our experts will also be happy to advise you on the appropriate materials to use based on your needs. Contact us today to get a quote or to find out more!

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