How To Build Retaining Walls
According to retaining wall contractor –Retaining walls are rigid walls which help support the soil mass. Especially designed in hilly areas, they prevent land sliding and help bound soils between two different elevation levels.
To build a strong retaining wall, you can either make it yourself or call a professional masonry contractor.
The following guide will help you build retaining walls:
- Making a Deep Trench
Create a trench. It should be big enough to have room for the block and at least 8 inches of space behind it. The trick here is to excavate deep enough so that at least one full course can be buried, including a space of 4” – 6” of base material. Get an even layer of base material by establishing a leveled trench. In cases of extreme weathers, this helps in prevention of tipping the walls.
If you get help from a retaining wall contractor, they size the trench with the help of laser level and a story pole.
- Tightening the Trench
After the trench is formed, you need to tighten it. Firmly press the soil either, with a hand temper or vibrating plate compactor. This step is very important as without enough force, your wall can settle, loosening the top base.
- Laying a Base of Crushed Stones:
A retaining wall contractor recommends laying a base of crushed stones rather than going for gravel, which is found naturally inside the pit. The only catch is that it is a little expensive but it is formidable as compared to natural gravel.
The base of crushed stones, as put by professional retaining wall contractor, ‘provides better drainage due to sharper angles of stone’. This makes you apply less force for compactness.
- Applying First Course
Level each block, from front and back, with the help of a torpedo level. Establish block formation with the help of either a plastic mallet or heavy rubber.
As per standards of masonry contractors, try laying the course from the center of the trench.
- Sweeping the First Formation
Once first course is laid, you need to sweep the block formation. If any unwanted pebble falls onto it, it will tamper your alignment. Now lay the blocks, in form of numerous courses and in case of wall running up the hill, keep laying until top of second course has become even with the grade.
- Providing Drainage
A masonry contractor will precisely tell you how much you need to leave space for drainage. On a rough estimate, start backfilling the wall, with the help of rocks so that grade height can be matched with the wall.
Get drain tee fittings, supported by a drain gate every 25’ – 50’. You can even cut one block for accommodating the drain gate. If drain tile parts get covered by rocks, they can come apart. To make them safe, screw parts of drain tiles firmly.
- Block Recommendation
Avoid hollow blocks because they require individual filling and this is a time-consuming process. Also, not all of hollow blocks can be cut.
In any case, if you run into any kind of problem, contact a professional masonry contractor long island and he will help you set up the retaining wall through his advice, experience and by giving the correct estimate of required materials.