A retaining wall is an important structure. These walls are responsible for keeping soil off walkways, roads, driveways, and patios. While retaining walls are functional structures, they are highly visible. It’s important that functionality isn’t the only consideration in their design.
Creating a retaining wall is not a simple task. These walls must hold the pressure of large amounts of soil. This is especially true when dealing with hillsides and slopes. Prior to construction, the designer must take into consideration a number of factors including the height of the wall, the slope of the ground above the wall, the type of soil behind the wall, and any additional weight on the soil above the wall. This additional weight might be from plants, garden structures, or even vehicles and buildings.
Height of the Retaining Wall
Height plays a significant role in the design of retaining walls. The higher the wall, the more force pushing against it. If not properly constructed, this force could break through, causing damage and possible injury to people and pets.
Slope is another factor to consider. It’s important to remember that the wall will hold the soil directly behind it as well as the upslope of soil above it. This can add a significant amount of pressure against the wall. In fact, the weight from soil can get up to thousands of pounds.
Drainage is another important factor to consider. The retaining wall must allow water to escape in a safe and reasonable fashion. This prevents flooding, but also reduces the amount of weight pushing against the wall. Without proper drainage, water buildup can create excessive force, reducing the retaining wall’s lifespan and increasing the chance of damage.
In order to allow for proper drainage, the wall’s construction should include drainage tile, washed gravel backfill, and weep holes. These must be strategically placed to maximize their efficiency.
Design and Construction of Retaining Walls Takes Time and Resources
The design and construction of a retaining wall is a major undertaking. These walls require a lot of time, labor, and money. They also require an understanding of the land and the types of materials used. Hiring a professional can provide peace of mind.
Experienced Design and Build Company
An experienced design and build company can help you with the design and construction of attractive, functional retaining walls. The right builder understands how to construct retaining walls to properly complement and enhance your landscape. They know what needs to be done to ensure the longevity and safety of the wall.
Grigg Design has over thirty years of experience designing and constructing quality retaining walls and landscapes. We work directly with each of our clients to evaluate their space and develop a plan that meets their unique needs and requirements. We are pleased to provide our design and build services to both businesses and residential customers throughout Northern Virginia. Please contact us for more information about our services.