All About Retaining Walls

The composition and stability of the soil around your home plays a big part in the stability and integrity of your foundation. A retaining wall is a manmade structure designed to keep soil in place by resisting soil movement and separating two different areas of elevation. This type of structure may be necessary in sloped areas or in places where soil movement could threaten your foundation or your home.

Retaining Wall Basics

A retaining wall serves as a boundary between two different elevations of land. Retaining walls keep soil from moving from higher elevations to lower ones, preventing soil erosion, landslides, and foundation shifting or settling. These walls can be used around your home, such as to keep a sloped area of your yard from sliding downward toward your home, or as part of the structural support of your home itself, if the home is built into a hill. A retaining wall is typically thickest at the bottom to withstand the high pressure at greater depth and angled such that it is narrower at the top. Retaining walls must also include adequate drainage measures to prevent overpressure on the more highly-elevated side of the wall. Installing directed drainage from your retaining wall will also ensure you route water where it will not affect your home or your foundation.

Retaining Wall Options

While a retaining wall may be somewhat limited in design to ensure it performs its function properly, there are still many options available when designing or upgrading a retaining wall around your home. Whether your property already has a retaining wall in place or could benefit from the construction of a new retaining wall, working with a professional will ensure the wall meets your expectations and needs in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. One of the most popular retaining wall designs is the use of a tiered structure, which offers improved curb appeal as well as better protection against soil erosion by spreading out the pressure of the soil behind the wall. You can choose from a variety of materials for your retaining wall, including concrete, stone, aggregate, and brick. Some retaining walls use an interlocking design that does not require mortar, while other more traditional designs may look and function like a normal brick or stone wall. Retaining walls may be painted or landscaped as well, integrating the wall into your property’s landscaping for a more natural and cohesive look. Upgrading the look of an older retaining wall can also help to improve its function, particularly if areas of the wall have begun to degrade. Retaining walls can also be incorporated into patios, water features, and more for a functional and appealing yard.

Could your property benefit from a new or improved retaining wall to protect your yard and your foundation? Check out the articles on our blog to find out more about protecting your yard and your home’s foundation, or take a look through our website to explore our foundation repair and plumbing solutions in Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio!

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