So, retaining walls, what exactly are they?
A retaining wall is an artificial structure used to maintain soil on an artificial slope (usually a steep, near-vertical, or vertical slant) when it would otherwise slide down a hill.
When the landscape has to be firmly molded and designed for more particular uses, such as hillside cultivation or road guardrails, retaining walls link soils between two distinct elevations.
And if you are from around Charleston, you’ll get the appeal of Charleston retaining walls because apparently, every corner of the area has one.
Now that you know what retaining walls are, the next thing to learn is what is its main function.
Retaining walls aren’t the most known property improvement project, but little do you know this seemingly unnecessary structure can actually help you with the following:
You can stop soil from being eroded away by building a retaining wall. The soil on your land will be protected from erosion caused by rain or irrigation water thanks to the wall.
The slope of a garden creates a difficult landscaping problem. Slopes provide lateral pressure, which may cause dirt to slide downhill.
A retaining wall can disperse and handle this pressure, letting you landscape without dirt slipping downhill.
Building a retaining wall to keep dirt in place may be a necessary step in developing a landscape design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
For your garden’s enclosure, you can build an artificial hill with retaining walls, or you can level the ground to make room for your landscaping plans.
Retaining walls are surely handy for both practical and aesthetic purposes, but did you know that there are actually different types of retaining walls?
The gravity retaining wall, the simplest kind, relies on the wall’s own bulk and weight to keep soil where it should be.
These retaining walls have the greatest material options since the primary consideration is weight. Dry-stacked stone is quite popular, although bricks and pavers are also viable possibilities, as are unmortared natural stones.
While shorter walls need no further support, the vast majority will need at least a shallow trench to be excavated for the wall to sit in, and maybe a concrete footer as well.
Cantilevered retaining walls employ a wall fastened to a slab foundation that runs beneath the soil the wall is supporting in an “L” shape and is often referred to as a reinforced retaining wall due to the iron bars that go through the masonry or concrete retaining wall.
The dirt above weighs down on the slab, preventing the wall from leaning forward. Considering its durability, this design is often used for commercial retaining walls.
For added strength and stability, a “counter-fort” or “buttressed” retaining wall incorporates extra vertical wings to the base.
Sheet pile retaining walls are thin walls of steel, wood, or vinyl that are driven straight into the soil, making them a fairly basic kind of wall often employed when space is a concern.
Most of the time, they will be constructed with a vertical corrugated structure for added strength. For sheet pilings to be effective, the soil must be rather soft, and a decent rule of thumb is to drive one-third of the piling into the ground for every two-thirds that will be above it.
Walls that are more than a few feet in height, such as anchored retaining walls, will need extra anchoring.
Anchored retaining walls can hold a variety of “fronts” using cables or strips and anchors pushed into the soil behind them.
These anchors are mechanically pushed into the surface and expanded with pressure concrete. This approach supports any sort of retaining wall and is commonly employed for physically thinner walls or larger loads.
All this talk is indeed complicated and too technical. However, if you choose to build Charleston retaining walls, make sure to find the best contractor in your area.