Most people think that retaining walls are only built as a decorative feature to add a visual interest to a property, however, there are actually different advantages of retaining walls and this includes saving your yard from unwanted ruin.
Before discussing the different ways your yard and your property can benefit from a retaining wall, it’s important to go through the basic to further understand the value of this feature.
What is a retaining wall?
A retaining wall is a functional landscaping feature that is used to support sloped areas in a property. The technique of using a retaining wall has been used for many years, even in ancient civilizations. As the name suggests, the wall is a structure that retains or holds the soil behind it which can prevent the land from moving downhill with erosion.
Erosion is defined as a process in which earthen material like soil and rocks are worn down and transported by natural forces such as water and wind.
Climate is one of the primary causes of erosion and if a sloped land area is not protected then the soil can gradually erode over time. Thus, the support provided by retaining walls can prevent a slope from further eroding.
What is a retaining wall made of?
In the construction of a retaining wall, there are a variety of materials that can be used. Materials can include:
- Stone Veneer
- Concrete Blocks
- Poured Concrete
- Natural Stone
- Timber / Wood
There are different types of retaining walls. You can seek professional advice on the correct type to build which will fully depend upon the conditions in your yard. Here are the common types of retaining walls.
1. Gravity walls
Gravity walls could be made by a stack of large rocks or pavers. This is a standard wall type that holds the earth mainly through its own weight. This type of retaining wall is only recommended for short slopes with a height of 3 feet or less.
2. Piling walls
Piling walls utilize long “piles” or poles. These piles which can be made of metal or treated lumber, go deep into the soil as well as above it. Piling walls have a good capacity to retain back the soil.
3. Cantilever walls
Cantilever walls are comparable to piling walls. The difference is that cantilever walls get additional strength from an arm-like lever which extends back into the hill. This serves to increase the wall’s capacity to stabilize pressure.
4. Anchored walls
An anchor wall is one of the strongest types of retaining walls as it uses an anchor that is wrapped around it. This anchor also has a base deeper into the hill providing added stabilization. This technique can actually be combined with other retaining wall types.
Where is a retaining wall built?
A retaining wall is built in a sloped land area, often in a yard or any land area surrounding a house or a property wherein the land’s soil and rocks need extra support to prevent them from moving downhill and eroding. They can also be built when landscaping a garden and isolating certain areas in your yard.
Ways a retaining wall can rescue your front yard & back yard
1. Retaining walls prevent damage caused by erosion
During harsh climate conditions like heavy rain, snow or strong winds, the soil located in a slope can slide down due to the force as well as the gravity. When this happens, the soil is carried away and can scatter debris all throughout your yard and the property.
This can result to a muddy mess that is very inconvenient to clear up and this can damage surrounding areas of the property. Additionally, if a slope is quite high, erosion can slowly chip away the land around of your property making it less stable.
Adding retaining walls will then protect your property by not only providing functional support but also by reducing maintenance time as well.
2. Retaining walls protect your gardens
Adding a retaining wall to your property can slow down the flow of rainwater in your yard and manage water runoff. This is beneficial especially if you have a landscaped garden in place.
When heavy rain water flows, this can damage your plants, flowers, or vegetables, so it can be wise to construct a wall to protect these areas.
3. Retaining walls are safety features
Placing a retaining wall in your yard is also a safety feature. This is because it makes a steep slope more stabilized and much safer to be in. Since water flow is also controlled, there are lesser chances of slipping or stumbling if you need to be in that area.
Retaining walls built facing public roads and highways can also protect motorists as these can prevent debris from moving down the roads which can cause vehicular accidents.
4. Retaining walls expand your functional space
Because of the safety aspect brought about by retaining walls, spaces in your yard that are previously unusable due to the nearness to a steep slope can once again be functional. You can use that stabilized, leveled area to expand your garden, place a backyard BBQ or even a seating area.
5. Retaining walls can make your yard more visually appealing
If you feel that your yard is an eyesore, then it definitely needs to be rescued! After all, you deserve to live in a beautiful and comfortable environment.
Retaining walls can add a visual statement to the appearance of your yard and add value to your home. Depending on the design of the retaining wall you choose, it can even completely transform the façade of your property. Here in Isle Group, we only employ the top landscape designers to ensure that your retaining wall is not only functional, but visually appealing as well.
Why you need a professional landscaping service for your retaining wall
Whatever your motivation is for considering a retaining wall for your property, it is very critical to seek the advice of a professional to ensure that safety and structural standards are met. When a retaining wall is not properly installed, this can result to bulges and cracks – especially if it does not have the required material, drainage mechanism or build type.
At Isle Group, we treat every property as a unique project so we devote thoughtful planning to ensure that the retaining wall construction is suitable for your property’s distinctive needs. Our many years of experience has allowed us to deliver retaining wall projects that are equipped to serve their function for many years to come.
Retaining walls can greatly impact your property’s stability, functionality, and aesthetics so only trust experts who can help you rescue your yard and your home.
Contact Isle Group today for a no-obligation consultation about a retaining wall for your property. We are here to help!