A retaining wall is a structure that stabilizes a slope or a land depression. It can be made of timber, interlocking steel, or vinyl panels. It is driven into the ground to the desired depth and secured with soil on both sides. It is often used to stabilize a slope with soft soil or in areas with limited space. Pile walls usually have about one-third of their length above ground and must be strong enough to resist the bending forces caused by retained material.
Retaining walls can also be used to control the flow of water. When installed properly, they can slow down the flow of rainwater and help landscape plants have moisture. In this way, they can even serve as outdoor seating areas. In addition, most retaining walls are designed to meet city and state regulations.
Depending on the design, retaining walls can last for several decades. A properly designed retaining wall should also consider in plans for a property. This is because if the wall is used to store construction materials above it, the soil beneath will be subjected to higher lateral earth pressures.
Retaining walls help create terraces on sloping land. Ancient South American civilizations built decks on steep terrain for agriculture. Modern farmers in the Sacred Valley of Peru still use these terraces to cultivate crops. In addition to providing a usable space, retaining walls can improve the aesthetic appeal of a home.
Retaining walls can also keep soil from eroding from a downhill foundation. During an earthquake, land tends to slide away from these faults, and the resulting erosion can cause massive devastation. It is essential to contact a professional landscaper to determine if retaining walls are suitable for your property.
A retaining wall may be made from concrete, wood, or steel. Using steel in these walls helps reduce the pressure caused by earth movement. Some systems are made with reinforcing steel and GeoTextiles soil reinforcement. These walls are relatively inexpensive and easy to install but are limited to temporary construction. In addition, they are not as stiff as other types of retentive walls.
The primary function of a retaining wall is to hold back the soil. A retaining wall is needed to prevent the slope from eroding and sliding when the hill becomes too steep. This structure holds back ground, which is then called backfill. The top surface of the retaining wall may be flat or inclined.