Retaining Walls: What They Do, and Why You Might Need One

Retaining Walls: What They Do, and Why You Might Need One

In the course of home ownership, many people may find they need to add a retaining wall to their properties. These are more than just a cosmetic improvement; they serve an important function in house landscaping by minimizing soil erosion. The following is a look at the major functions of a retaining wall, clues that you might need to add one to your property, and design options to compliment your house landscaping.

Retaining Wall Functions

Especially in wet areas of the country, it’s important to consider drainage techniques in your yard and lawn care. Retaining walls, for example, can be designed to direct rainwater away from the home. they can also:

Increase usability. A retaining wall can create a flat area by holding back the soil on a slope. If the land slopes around your house, they can make your whole yard much easier to use.

Hold slopes in place. Slopes are great for views but challenging for your home’s stability. These walls battle gravity by keeping the soil on a slope in place.

Boost built-in seating. One of the unanticipated services landscaping retaining walls can provide is additional seating. The top of the wall is a nice place to sit and chat.

Signs You Might Need a Retaining Wall

Soil fault lines are uphill from your property. During earthquakes, land often slides away from fault lines. Does a fault line run above your property? If so, a landscaping contractor might recommend adding one of these walls for increased stability.

Downhill erosion is impacting your property. Are you battling mountains of soil and debris deposited on your property via erosion? If so, a wall can help redirect or absorb rainwater and slow the rate of erosion.

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A sliding hill is threatening your home’s foundation. On the downhill slide of a slope, erosion can wear away and weaken a home’s foundation. In contrast, the uphill side of a foundation may be compacted by erosion. In both cases, a retaining wall can help provide helpful services; landscaping architects can design walls to stabilize homes on sloped properties.

Design Options

A retaining wall is a practical and functional landscape feature, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful, as well. Common materials for these walls include:

Natural stone. Natural stone is the most expensive (and, many say, the most attractive) option.

Interlocking blocks or poured concrete. Interlocking blocks or poured concrete retaining walls are less expensive than their natural stone counterparts. A modern-style home design pairs well with these types of walls.

Timber walls. Because timber walls often do not last as long as other options, timber is usually the least expensive choice.

Whichever material you choose, it’s smart to incorporate drainage in your design – otherwise, your wall could eventually crack or buckle. This may be a way to help you choose among service providers; Landscaping companies that can’t design one with built-in drainage should be removed from your list of potential contractors.

Retaining walls create flat planting areas while providing slope stabilization. When considering adding one, don’t automatically assume that the job can be done by the same outfit that provides your lawn care; landscaping gurus know that building a one requires engineering prowess.