Functions Of A Retaining Wall



The main function of a Retaining wall is to separate two different angles of soil when a change in elevation is needed. And, while retaining walls are a very practical and necessary addition to homes in need of them, they also add value and aesthetic appeal to any property. For instance, if a retaining wall is built of masonry and stone, the stone used in building the retaining wall can add beauty to a home’s landscape, and the upper portion of the retaining wall can be planted with tress, shrubs, or even a raised garden bed. The retaining wall can also create beautiful sculpted out areas on the property that will continue to stand, if built correctly, for decades. Even small retaining walls built two or three feet high can carve out distinct areas on the property for additions, like a patio. Retaining walls placed in the front of the home can add a distinct walk to the front door as well as instant curb appeal.

While retaining walls can be built of many different materials, the wall built of concrete and stone is a beautiful choice. A retaining wall built of masonry must have a quality drainage system for the soil that it supports. The masonry wall will need to have weeping holes installed to allow sufficient drainage and to relieve the soil pressures. The masonry wall sits on a concrete footing, which has been reinforced with rebar, below the frost line.
Another choice of material for the retaining wall is a poured concrete wall. While the stone of the masonry wall is beautiful, the poured concrete wall can be stained, stamped or carved to provide the look that the property owner wants. The poured concrete retaining wall is also the strongest and most durable choice of materials. The poured concrete retaining wall is built similar to the masonry wall, with a reinforced concrete footing that is supported by rebar, and the weeping holes will still need to be installed throughout the wall to allow sufficient drainage and to relieve the soil’s pressure.

When the retaining wall is built, the homeowner can add a host of other eye catching aesthetic value to the wall. Japanese Junipers, for instance, can be planted at the top of the wall, and the beautiful green arms of the jumpier will drape over the wall. Or certain plants like the Hydrangea will grow up the wall, and once fully grown, will appear to grow into the stone or concrete walls beneath them.