The 4 Basic Types of Retaining Walls.

Retaining walls are both beautiful and utilitarian in their overall purpose. They can help improve water irrigation and under grown runoff, while also uplifting the visual appeal and overall atmosphere of a grader or yard. Because of their practical and visual functions, retaining walls are one of the most popular landscaping projects for many homeowners all over the world.  However, what many might not know, is that not all retaining walls are created the same way. Let’s talk about the 4 different types of retaining walls available, and what they are used for. Click here for more information Kyle Retaining Wall CO.

Gravity Retaining

A gravity retaining wall is by far the most common, and the simplest style of retaining wall around. They are exceptionally easy to build, and as such are very popular among DIYers. Gravity retaining walls work by simply using weight and pressure to keep soil and erosion in check. This means that the material used in gravity retaining walls are usually concrete, brick, dry-stacked stone, etc. In many cases, shorter walls can be made without any reinforcement at all–the gravity and weight does all the work. 

Sheet-Piled Retaining 

Sheet-piled retaining walls are very popular when there is an issue of available yard or land area. These retaining walls are made with vertical interlocking sheets of wood, vinyl, or steel. They are linked together in a sort of ‘zig-zag’ pattern to provide room for extra stabilizing materials and are buried about 1/3rd of the way into the ground. These work very well with soft soils and in-a-pinch. However, they are not ideal for dense soils or very heavy-duty projects. 

Cantilevered Retaining 

Cantilevered retaining walls are often the most common in commercial and industrial uses. They are an incredibly strong method of building a retaining wall and can hold back massive amounts of shifting and pushing soil. They are designed by affixing the retaining wall slab to an ‘L’ shaped base that is buried under ground. This ‘L’ shaped base acts as an anchor in the ground and is held in place by the sheer weight of the surrounding earth and the wall itself. These are highly valued in heavy duty situations. 

Anchored Retaining 

Anchored retaining is a method of securing retaining walls, rather than a process of building them themselves. Anchored retaining walls can be made using any of the methods and styles mentioned above and are designed to add additional support as needed. This is done by taking cables and affixing them to the wall on one end, while mechanically drilling the other end into the ground. 

The drilled end is then anchored at the end with pressurized concrete or other such methods. This is a way of ensuring that the retained earth does not overtake the structural integrity of the wall over time. 

In Conclusion

It’s important to know the various types of retaining walls in order to know which method will suit you best. For larger projects, more stability might be necessary. However, for smaller projects, often a good old-fashioned gravity retaining wall is all that’s needed. Always assess the scope and needs of the project when setting out to choose your retaining wall, and how it will be built and installed. 

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