A retaining wall can be a very important structure that can retain a massive land behind it and prevent a slope from being collapsed. Sometimes, constructing a retaining structure can be a fun project, but the situation can go wrong if the builder makes a few mistakes. Most of the mistakes related to the construction of these walls are associated with the materials, designing, drainage.
Here, we will help our readers to know some of the best materials and the ways to construct a structure easily and without any major faults.
Things to Remember While Constructing a Retaining Wall
When a homeowner thinks about the retaining structure, he thinks about a lot of stones, a beautiful structure, a garden, flowers, stairs, and so on. Since these structures increase the stability of a slope, they should be built it carefully with avoiding possible mistakes. Any mistakes during the design or construction can ruin the entire slope.
Some of the common mistakes related to this are –
1. Improper drainage
Lack of a proper drainage system can collapse the wall, and to realize that you have to know the basic mechanism and relationship between stress, strain, and the role of the water molecule as a lubricant. When the water molecules enter between the soil particles, the shear resistance starts decreasing. As a result, after exceeding a certain value, the land collapses, and landslides take place.
Facilitating the drainage system means that the owner has supplied enough spaces for the water to pass out. To do this, you need to use the stones and gravel immediately to the walls so that no additional pressure can cause cracks in the wall.
2. The base of the retaining wall
Along with the drainage system, designing and calculating the bottom of the base determines the support of a structure. If the support is stronger, the wall can withstand greater pressure. Remember that the base of the wall should be 0.6 times wider than the height of the wall. In many places, mechanically stabilized earth walls are constructed to provide more support.
Sometimes, the owners choose the wrong materials to construct the wall. Materials will determine the longevity of the structure, and good materials will extend the lifespan of the wall. Don’t choose a random material for the construction purpose. Choose it based on the location. For instance, choosing timber materials in tropical areas can ruin the structure because, in these areas, the decomposition rate is higher as the condition and weather is quite favorable to the microorganisms.
Costs of constructing a retaining wall
Though constructing a retaining wall is very easy if anybody has the necessary tools, people like to hire experts. Hiring experts for constructing walls in the sloppy areas is indeed necessary as these areas are very risky for constructing anything. Anyway, let us show you an average scenario of costs that you will need to build one around your home.
- For a wood/timber wall, the cost is around $15 per square feet
- For an interlocking-block system or poured concrete, the cost will be nearly $20 per square feet
- For a natural-stone wall, the cost may be around $25 per square foot.