Retaining Wall Construction
Retaining wall construction is a process in which concrete or other masonry products are used to hold back soil and prevent it from moving or collapsing. There are a variety of types of retaining walls, each designed for different needs.
Retained wall designs are developed in accordance with geotechnical engineering requirements. The type of material to be used, the depth of the retaining wall, and its configuration are all determined by the geotechnical engineer.
Common retaining wall materials include brick, stone, and concrete block. These are strong and long-lasting, but they can be expensive.
Wooden retaining walls are also a good choice in some situations, but they can rot if exposed to moisture. These walls require a mason to install them, which can be very costly.
Concrete blocks are a common material for retaining walls, and they can be purchased from home centers or stone yards. They are also fairly inexpensive, costing around $15 per square foot.
A solid foundation for your retaining wall is a layer of gravel with stones sized between 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch. Use a rake to distribute the gravel evenly. After the base is poured, tamp it down with a tamper.
When preparing to lay your retaining wall, make sure the ground is level and that it doesn’t have any slopes. This will allow you to place the retaining wall correctly without sloping it inward or outward, which could cause a problem when it comes time to install caps on top of it.
Before building the retaining wall, dig a trench that is about 8 feet wide and 8 feet long. Place a standard level in the trench to ensure the bottom of the wall is level.
Then, lay a layer of gravel in the trench to fill it. Be careful not to get any dirt or sand into the trench, as this can clog the drain hole in the gravel and put undue pressure on the wall.
To keep the gravel in place, you may need to create a few small steps up or down on each side of the wall to ensure it’s stable and level. If you need to, you can also place a piece of plywood or another heavy material over the base to prevent it from sagging.
Once the gravel is in place, you can begin laying your wall blocks. Be sure to step back the blocks as you build to help them lean against each other and give gravity a chance to work its magic.
Retaining walls can be capped with a variety of material, such as a sand-filled cap, a gravel cap, or a flagstone cap. This material can be glued onto the wall with an adhesive made specifically for masonry products.
In some cases, a steel rod is used to anchor the wall. The length of the steel rod and the tensioning force are based on geotechnical analysis.
Expansion joints are commonly incorporated into retaining walls to account for temperature changes. These joints should be located at intervals of up to 90 feet.