Retaining walls are structures designed to restrain soil to unnatural slopes. They are most useful on a sloping block as a means of terracing or levelling sections of land which can be shaped and engineered for more specific purposes.

 

Blake Anderson, Normark Domestic Manager said retaining walls can change a landscape. “I generally incorporate retaining walls only when they are required to serve a functional benefit, this is mainly due to cost. When a block has changing levels it is a priority to create a functional space that can be used.” Retaining walls can be a feature in the landscape as well as perform a function in dividing your spaces and making them useable.”

It is important to have proper drainage behind the wall in order to limit the pressure to the wall’s design value. Drainage materials will reduce or eliminate the hydrostatic pressure and improve the stability of the material behind the wall.

Blake believes the two most crucial elements to a retaining wall are preparation and drainage. “The foundations need to be prepared correctly so that the wall has the correct structural strength to withstand the land it retains. There needs to be the correct water proofing and drainage installed to the back side of the wall to eliminate moisture build up against. A combination of builders’ waterproof plastic and bitumen paint will work well with a correctly installed aggie drain system protected by a no fines scoria.”

So if you are thinking about adding a retaining wall at your place some things to remember are;
– What is the function of the retaining wall?
– Do you have a style in mind – is it based on cost or aesthetics?
– What durability will be required?
– Drainage considerations must play a factor in all your decision making.