A retaining wall is a specially designed structure that holds soil on one side and is free standing on the other. They help to accommodate changes in grade in a landscape with uneven topography such as some in Falls Church Virginia. These retaining walls often allow steeper cuts to a slope to yield more usable space on a cut-and-fill hillside lot. Hard working retaining walls can be key to creating a level sports lawn or driveway too.
According to the professional designers at Green Acres, located in Arlington Virginia, retaining walls are also used on level ground to raise living spaces above the surrounding ground plain. A well designed retaining wall can elevate planting areas for improved drainage while at the same time creating a seat-wall. There is no end to the benefits of these heavy barriers, but they can be costly and must be strictly constructed to prevent failure.
What makes retaining walls so challenging is their strength, which is best illustrated by the incredible loads they carry, known as lateral earth pressure. This is created by more than just the weight of soil. Water behind the wall causes buildup of hydrostatic pressure which is the reason for most wall failures. Only through adequately designed drainage structures and waterproofing can the best designed wall, many in Falls Church Virginia , survive over time.
Experts at Green Acres indicate that retaining walls are divided into two types by their height. Walls under four feet are designed and built by contractors or per a landscape architect's drawing. Retaining walls over four feet require much larger footings due to the increased lateral earth pressure. A quality retaining wall must be designed by an engineer who will specify the size and extent of footings and the amount of steel reinforcement required according to strict loading calculations.
Retaining walls are commonly used to level or retain slopes and give them a more vertical character. Generally, the more restricted or congested the site, the greater the need for retaining walls to provide usable space for landscape purposes. A retaining wall may be necessary strictly for structural support.
However beautiful these retaining walls may ultimately be, they are a powerful structure that must function as designed. This can only happen when they are composed of the proper materials and constructed by quality contractors, such as Green Acres.. Get these things right and you’ll be able to count on your financial investment in your retaining wall maintaining both beauty and integrity for many decades to come.
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