A retaining wall is a durable structure made to prevent the soil from collapsing, slipping, and eroding into a certain area. Retaining walls are particularly important in hilly areas where the soil tends to shift naturally.
For this article, we’ll share with you information about retaining walls and what you need to know before deciding to install them. Our team highly recommends that you study the facts below so that you can make an informed choice moving forward.
What is the Use of a Retaining Wall?
The use of a retaining wall is to prevent soil from sliding downhill in a property’s landscape. These walls are also important in improving the aesthetic of an area or addressing drainage issues. You’ll often notice these structures in locations where additional support is needed to stop the ground from moving.
Cantilever retaining walls, gravity retaining walls, reinforced soil retaining walls, and embedded retaining walls are the most common types of retaining walls used nowadays.
What is the Difference Between a Regular Wall and a Retaining Wall?
The primary difference between a regular wall and a retaining wall is that a retaining wall is designed to retain soil by supporting its load horizontally while a wall keeps it in place vertically. In other words, the purpose of a retaining wall is to support the ground laterally.
To ensure retaining walls perform their job reliably, they need to be made with high-quality materials right from the start.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Retaining Walls?
These are the advantages and disadvantages of retaining walls:
- Stops soil from sliding or spilling into a yard
- Secures nearby structures by preventing soil from collapsing into them
- Fixes drainage problems that can cause flooding
- Improve the appearance of your landscape
- Retaining walls with poor workmanship can quickly degrade and cause issues
- You’ll need to spend a good amount of money to install a quality retaining wall
How Many Years Will Retaining Walls Last?
You can expect retaining walls to last between 10 to 50+ years. This lifespan will vary significantly depending on the material you’ve chosen to install. Although timber retaining walls are relatively cheap, they normally don’t last as long when compared to concrete sleeper walls. You should keep this in mind when you build a retaining wall.
How Long Will a Timber Retaining Wall Last?
On average, timber retaining walls can last about 10 years. Timber nowadays is usually H4-treated and is made of hardwood.
You can also use treated pine logs for your retaining walls, which could last longer.
How Long Will a Concrete Sleeper Wall Last?
You can expect concrete sleeper walls to last for 50 years or more. Unlike timber that can rot, bend, and warp, concrete retaining walls don’t normally break down throughout the years.
In fact, many homeowners use concrete sleepers in their retaining walls because they can last for many decades while requiring virtually no maintenance.