Tips on Building Retaining Walls

A retaining wall is what it sounds like – a wall that keeps the earth or other material from sliding away or eroding.Retaining walls are usually used around sloped areas, drainage areas or steps and are usually set on the top of a foundation or built to straddle a banked area of land. In other words, its main purpose would be to keep a sediment from flowing up and out of a sloping landscape design to prevent erosion, flooding, and wind damage. Also, the walls act to block drainage that would otherwise cause erosion.

Retaining walls are common structures in the United States, and they do have a long history of use throughout the country. In the United States, they were originally used to keep the northern lands from being submerged by the eroding of hillsides. In other parts of the world, they are used as a sort of buffer or clarification in the case of wide ranges of terrains or plateaus which would otherwise make the land too dangerous to build upon. A hill which is an impacting type has the greatest potential for erosion because there usually happens to be a lot of strain on the earth from heating and cooling. 

Building construction for retaining walls should follow the same rules and guidelines that would be set for any other construction. It is common to use the base of a hill as the site of the retaining wall which can work well. The most important factor is elevations. The material used to build the retaining wall is sometimes the same material that is used to make foundations, in most cases is masonry block or concrete. Decorative or colored stone can also be used. This material can also be custom shaped to fit around any obstacles that may be in the direct line of the build. Once the retaining wall is in place, it can be worked on by hand or machinery. A pressure washer can help get rid of very large dirt and debris that may be very compact. Power tools used for retaining walls can aid in the cuts needed for sections that have curves to them when using manufactured stones. Retaining walls are a great addition to any landscaped yard and they can prolong the life of the yard when done right.