Purposes of a Retaining Wall
Although it can be quite costly, a retaining wall serves many purposes in a landscapes
- Elevate planting areas for better drainage.
- Provide a low wall that can be used for seating.
- Serves as a buffer zone between the main structures of a residential or commercial property with a natural slope.
- Becomes a decoration and therefore adds appeal to a landscape as retaining walls come in different shapes, materials, colours and designs.
A challenge posed in installing a retaining wall is its ability to carry incredible loads, called lateral earth pressure, which is brought about not just by soil but by the water, also known as hydrostatic pressure. We can engineer a strong retaining wall with deep foundations which ties back into the hill to ensure it has a long and stable life.
Retaining walls shouldn’t just look attractive they also need to be structurally secure. Therefore, it is very important to speak to qualified structural landscapers that have the knowledge and experience to advise you on the best material to use for the purpose of your wall.
Retaining Wall Materials
200 Series Structural Block
This type of wall is a forever wall. It can hold massive loads, can be used as a part of building foundations and is ideal when a wall is necessary to retain high traffic areas such as drive ways.
These walls are very versatile and can be a plain grey block that can be rendered, painted or cladded. They can also be a split faced or decorative block.
A retaining wall built of pure brick is called a “cavity wall” where two standard brick walls, which are just a few inches from each other, have the same foundation. There is space between them for steel to run from the foundation to the upper part of the wall.
With its name derived from the Italian term for “cage”, this retaining wall uses an ancient way of building a wall where a cage, made of wire or wire mesh, is filled with rubble or rock. Recently, as a green alternative, gabion walls use crushed waste or recycled materials instead of rock filler.
Rock and Boulder
It follows an old way of building walls and reflects the art of “dry walling” where stones or boulders are laid to make sure that the core remains dry in any kind of weather. While this type of wall gives a dry stacked look, it actually gives block support structure.
This type of wall is constructed from large sandstone slabs or logs that are put in place with either an excavator or crane. These walls are very strong and robust, as well as being aesthetically pleasing.
Timber retaining walls are a cost-effective way of retaining. Timber walls should always be constructed from a minimum of H4 treated timber and will need careful consideration as to make sure you are using the correct post sizes and spacings during construction. This will ensure that the wall will continue to retain for a long period of time.
Stacker Block Retaining
This type of wall is both attractive and versatile. It can be constructed as either a non-structural or structural wall depending on the size and the requirements of your wall.
Council DA and Engineering
Make sure that when you are planning your retaining walls that you enquire at your local council about the placement of the retaining walls on your block and whether or not you need engineering or a DA.
If this is necessary, Jason Reading Landscapes can organise all of this for you before building the wall to save you the time and hassle.