Retaining Walls


What’s the purpose of a retaining wall? A retaining wall is a lateral support built of concrete to support sloping soil. And, while all retaining walls are built for the same or very similar purposes, not all retaining walls are built in the same way. Here are four different types of retaining walls, and the purpose behind each.

Gravity Retaining Walls

Gravity retaining walls work as the name implies: they rely on their own weight to support the load of soil. Gravity Retaining walls are good choices for landscapes which require a wall that’s less than ten feet high. Usually, gravity retaining walls are built on site, and are cast with in monolithic-style construction.

Semi-Gravity Retaining Wall

Semi-Gravity Retaining Walls are built similar to a Gravity Retaining Wall; however, steel supports are included inside the cast of concrete for additional support. Placing steel supports within the concrete will help to reduce the thickness of the concrete wall, which is a plus for certain applications.

Cantilever Concrete Retaining Wall

Cantilever Concrete Retaining Walls can be built much larger than a Gravity Retaining Wall. These types are built with reinforced concrete. Cantilever Concrete Retaining Walls require much less concrete than a typical monolithic-type slab, however the wall itself needs to be built much more precisely, because of the reinforced concrete, and the more intricate base—which includes a heel and toe.

Counterfort Retaining Walls

These types of retaining walls are very similar in design to Cantilever-style walls, however the differences are that at the back of Counterfort walls are web-like strips of concrete (these strips are called counterforts).

And, for those of you needing a decorate-type concrete retaining wall, there are so many options to sprucing up the look of a retaining wall. If standard grey is too drab, concrete can be stamped with a pattern or dyed a different color.

Concrete retaining walls are difficult to build, and costly to tear down and then rebuild if done incorrectly—get it done right the first time (you won’t regret it!). So, make sure you call the professionals at Shotcrete Montana.