Retaining walls are the only option available to turn a slope into a level piece of land for use. The walls can be erected with the help of various materials in order to suit the requirements of the user.
The selection of material depends on quite a few factors.
The Choice of Materials
- The budgetary constraints.
- Characteristics and features of the soil.
- The conditions and location of the ground water.
- The height of the retaining walls to be erected.
Before any retaining walls construction projects start it is important to contact the local authorities and check if the construction follows the building guidelines of the area. Failure to do so might result in the legal hassles in the future.
Railroad Cross Ties
Retaining walls can be constructed by using railroad ties but a lot of thought needs to be put into the construction because the construction should be accurate. Substantial footers need to be installed in order to ensure that the bottom of the walls do not slide out due to pressure. Perpendicular ties, will need to be installed behind the retaining walls. These prevent the wall from collapsing. The length of these ties is usually 1.5 times longer than the height of the wall. The ties should be located at intervals of at least 6 feet to ensure maximum strength. Railroad ties are constructed from wood that is treated to impart strength and resistance to the elements. None the less there is always a risk while using these ties. The wood can be subject to rotting or infestations by termites. These factors can weaken the wall by a significant margin and could also collapse over time. A drain need to be designed at intervals in order to help the drainage of water. The stagnant water increases the chances of the wood becoming rotten.
Concrete is one of the best materials to use for constructing retaining wall. The construction should be performed with a skilled agency in order to ensure that the project is completed to satisfaction. A variety of designs are available in order to make the retaining walls using concrete but certain basic principles should be followed. These concrete walls must have a footer to create walls that last for a longer period of time. Concentrate allows a number of options for decoration and aesthetic designs. A number of methods are available in order to impart a number of interesting designs and looks to the concrete walls. It is possible to seal the concrete wall which reduces the maintenance problems as the surface becomes easier to clean.
Paver Blocks and Stones
These blocks and stones have a specific shape which can be joined to one another to create interesting patterns. However, constructing retaining walls by using these blocks and stones is a difficult task. The footer for these walls should be very substantial. The footer will not only support the weight of the soil behind the wall but it will also support the walls. In certain cases, a concrete wall should be placed behind the blocks and stones. This is usually done if the lateral pressure of the soil is high. Without the layer of concrete, the wall can collapse. The concrete layer will provide structural integrity and strength while the paver blocks provide the visually appealing aesthetics.
Rock and Bricks
These items impart a traditional and classy look to the walls. However, the construction of retaining walls using these items should follow the same principles as paver block retaining walls. A considerable solid footer is required. A secondary wall needs to be placed behind this one in order to ensure structural strength. Concrete is the best option for both the purposes.