When to Use a Retaining Wall

Knowing when to use a retaining wall is important if you have purchased new property.  Retaining walls can prevent damage to your property and it's important to be aware of their necessity, especially if you buy commercial property.  A commercial building is a large investment, and in order to protect it, you need to stay informed.


Retaining walls, simply put, hold soil in place.  This is necessary when you have an extreme difference in land elevation.  If there is a steep hill, or choppy land, you may need a retaining wall.  The retaining wall can be used for landscaping as well as utility.  Some people use retaining walls to build a small, multi level flower bed or garden.  Other times, the land is uneven and landscapers use a retaining wall to landscape or provide outdoor stairs to get to the second level.  Severe slopes may have several retaining walls, or one tall retaining wall.


Heavy duty retaining walls require special reinforcement structure to account for the uneven pressure on each side.  This helps to fight the tendency for retaining walls with high pressure to move downslope, or tilt.


Retaining walls can be built from a number of materials.  Shorter retaining walls used for landscaping gardens or for a flower bed can be made from wood or stone.  Brick and stone are used for larger retaining walls, but can be subject to crumbling and leaks, if the slope is too severe.  For severe slopes, many use precast concrete walls, as they are strong and usually reinforced.


If you have drastic differences in elevation on your land, you should probably consider putting in a retaining wall.  It's cleaner than leaving the land uneven, looks more professional for commercial properties, and can prevent loss of ground or extreme changes in the land that could have an impact on buildings or other aspects of the property.


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