Retaining Wall Uses & Functions:
Retaining walls have been used for many applications. Retaining walls are designed to retain earth or rock that would otherwise fall or collapse without the retaining wall to secure it.
Some areas require retaining walls more than others, and sometimes retaining walls are just used for aesthetics.
If you have a bank adjacent to your house that is steep and constantly failing, a retaining wall may be the right choice for you. Sometimes even under these conditions a retaining wall may NOT be the right choice, so therefore it is important to have a professional review the area with you to determine if a retaining wall is the right choice.
Using a retaining wall to open a space or generate a space larger than your current space may be the most viable option for a retaining wall as the cost impact of the retaining wall will provide a greater benefit of allowing you to utilize a space better and at the same time the retaining wall will be performing its job in retaining the area or bank it is incorporated in.
Retaining walls can also be used to generate space to build upon, either a house or a garage or any structure you can imagine. The retaining wall in this scenario would be Engineered to support the structure above. This use of a retaining wall is sometimes the only option when you have steep or sloped land that would be difficult to grade flat with an excavator.
In addition, using a retaining wall on steep or sloped land can add a distinct look to your property in conjunction with retaining the area correctly to build your new home.
Types of Retaining Walls:
Retaining walls come in a varied amount of styles and can be built from numerous types of materials. Retaining walls often are built from specific manufactured retaining wall blocks which can vary in color, shape and style. For example, retaining wall manufactured block can be straight faced, radiused faced (to give more texture to the wall), the retaining wall manufactured blocks can also be different sizes within the wall giving the appearance of stone cladding. Retaining wall manufactured blocks can also be found in almost any color depending on you retaining wall application it is sometimes necessary to have it match your home or blend in with the surroundings. Retaining wall manufactured block can also come in very large sizes in which the weight of the block acts as a retaining wall without additional support. These larger retaining wall manufactured blocks need to be installed with a large machine or even a crane at times but can still be decorative in nature. More often the larger retaining wall manufactured blocks are used for commercial applications but some retaining walls at private homes have used these larger retaining wall manufactured blocks due to the nature of the build.
Retaining walls can also be built using natural stones and boulders. Depending on the height of the retaining wall and the load the retaining wall is due to support, these natural stone retaining walls can be a pleasant addition and have a more natural look. Boulder retaining walls are commonly used against a lake edge to protect the bank from erosion and due to the size of the boulders required for this kind of retaining wall, they fair well against the constant erosion of the water in addition to the wake produced by passing boats.
Retaining walls can also be built using Gabion baskets, these retaining walls are built using large baskets filled with rock and are used when excavating into the bank it is to retain is not a viable option. Although Gabion basket retaining walls can be a useful application, they are not very attractive are primarily used when no other option of retaining wall can be used.