Andrew

Landscape Blogger. Over 10 years of residential landscaping experience.

Choosing The Right Retaining Wall Materials

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If you’re planning on building a retaining wall for your residential or commercial space, there are several factors to consider in choosing the material to use. This is important to construct a long-lasting and durable retaining wall. Careful planning and designing must be done by a professional to prevent future problems from arising.

What To Consider

Drainage
A good drainage system plays an important role in the overall stability of your retaining wall. Water buildup behind the wall can cause damage over time. It is best to hire a professional to design and plan the drainage system.

Soil
The soil will be responsible for the foundation or base of your retaining wall. It must meet the required strength to support the structure. It should be solid, strong, and firm. It should not be moist because additional moisture can cause issues in the drainage system. 

Water Exposure
Proper drainage will avoid moisture-related issues. Material like wood is prone to getting rotten, that is why it requires treated lumber to reduce water damage. Stone and concrete can hold water better – but still, they need a good drainage system.

Height
Are you planning to build a small garden wall or a tall retaining wall? The right material will depend on your purpose. For instance, if you only need a small wall for your flower bed, it does not necessarily need to be as solid as a big wall. You can use wood, concrete blocks, or stones. A big retaining wall will need a thicker and more durable material.

Aesthetics
Who would want a retaining wall that looks off in your landscape? In choosing a material, also consider how well it will blend with your property’s landscape. 

Retaining Wall Materials

Block Concrete
This is usually used in shorter walls – about 4 feet. Building concrete blocks higher than 4 feet will weaken the structure. They are strong, durable, and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Poured Concrete
You can choose from a variety of designs. It’s generally stronger than concrete blocks. It is durable and will last for many years.

Brick
Brick is usually composed of sand, clay, and lime. It is water-resistant, strong, and durable. Even though it can resist water and moisture, it still needs good drainage. Replacing a damaged brick can be challenging because the whole structure will be affected.

Wood
Wood is aesthetically pleasing and is easy to install. It can also be cut in any shape you want. However, wood is only recommended for retaining walls under 4 feet.

The downside is wood is not as strong as other materials. It can easily rot – especially when exposed to moisture and insects. Proper maintenance will avoid this from happening.

Stone
Stone is a popular option because of its robustness. It’s also has a naturally appealing look. It’s durable and

Gabion
Gabion is one of the most ancient systems in building walls. It has a container or box that is made of metal. Its insides are filled with stones, pebbles, or cobblestones.

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