6 Things Your Retaining Wall Needs

Posted on

If you are thinking about building a retaining wall, with the help of a landscaper, you need to make sure that you have all the right components in place. Here are the six elements your retaining wall needs in order to be strong.

#1 Solid Base

The first thing your retaining wall needs in order to be strong is a really solid base.The base needs to properly compacted down. You need to make sure that any organic material, such as topsoil, has been removed from the area where you are going to place your retaining wall. 

If the organic material is not removed, it will decay over time and cause voids to develop under your retaining wall. This will compromise the integrity of your base. Your base needs to be made of compacted earth that lacks any organic material.

#2 Footing

The second thing your retaining wall needs is a strong footing. The type of footing that you need will depend on the height of the wall, the materials used and the soil style. 

#3 Frost Depth

The third thing your retaining wall needs is to be built below the frost depth. You will need to research and figure out what the frost depth is for your climate. Your local building department should be able to provide you with this information. In order for your base to be secure, it has to start below the frost depth for your area. 

#4 The Wall

The fourth thing you need to focus on is the design of the actual wall itself. You need to make sure that you install an interlocking block system that is supported with mesh ties. A wall with this type of construction will be able to provide lateral stability. You can also use poured concrete, as long as you install support rebar. 

You should have a professional look over your plans for your wall to ensure that it will be  strong enough to support the earth that will be behind it. 

#5 Drainage System

Fifth, you need to have a drainage system set up so that water flows down the hill and to the drain tile you located at the base. You do not want the water to have nowhere to go. If the water gets trapped against your retaining wall, it will put unnecessary pressure on your wall that may compromise it. 

#6 Safety Rail

Finally, you should install a safety rail on the top of your retaining wall. That way, if someone falls near the retaining wall, they will have a safety net to support them.

If you are building a retaining wall, you need to make sure that each of the six elements above is in place and strong. Having all of these elements in place will ensure the success of your retaining wall.