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Factors to Consider When Building Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are structures that hold back soil from an area, creating a flat area in which to build a building, park or sports field. They also define and enhance the aesthetic appeal of a landscape. However, there are certain factors to keep in mind before you start to construct a retaining wall.

The first factor is the type of soil that you are working with. For example, if you are working on a hill, your retaining wall may have to be built on a concrete foundation. Alternatively, you can use gravel. This allows water to drain and won’t put pressure on the back of the wall. However, you should check the water drainage on your property before starting any retaining wall project. If the soil is very saturated, water can pool at the base of the wall and weaken it.

The second factor to consider is the amount of vertical stress that the wall can handle. This depends on the height of the backfill and the vertical stress imposed on the material behind the wall. In general, a deeper layer of backfill results in a higher vertical stress.

You should also make sure that the retaining wall has a waterproof membrane. This is especially important if you live in an area where moisture is an issue. Water can seep into the masonry and then straight through. It can leave discoloration and mineral efflorescence. Also, be sure to clean out the drainage vents.

Finally, be sure that the retaining wall meets state and city regulations. For instance, in New York City, the minimum frost depth should be four feet. You can contact the Department of Buildings to receive an inspection. Your property insurance provider can also provide information on retaining walls and fences.

There are many different types of retaining walls, from simple sheet pile walls to more complex structures. One common type is a cantilever beam. These can be made from concrete, steel or wood planks. Another type is a girder. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses.

When choosing a retaining wall for your home, it is helpful to consult an engineer. A good one will be able to suggest the best materials and design for your property. Remember that a retaining wall is an engineering structure and needs to be designed to handle the loads of a building or vehicle.

For a large retaining wall, it is likely to cost $10,000 or more. Usually, prices are based on square feet. To estimate your own costs, calculate the cost of materials and labour. Add these together and then multiply by the number of square feet that you need.

Retaining walls are an important component of any property. Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, they can enhance the look and feel of your property. Be sure to maintain them regularly. Even a small problem can compromise the integrity of the wall and pose a safety risk.

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