Retaining Wall Construction
When you’re thinking of methods to secure your house, the first things that come to mind are ways to safeguard your most essential belongings. Your outside barrier, however, is equally important. Melbourne retaining wall solutions are sometimes needed to avoid soil erosion, as well as flooding, sinkholes, drainage issues, and other typical dangers. Unfortunately, despite the fact that retaining walls are simpler and less expensive than they used to be, many businesses demand exorbitant fees for basic solutions.
We always save you more on a high-quality finished product as long as you choose either brick or wood. Whether you’re looking for a small set of borders for your garden or a perimeter wall around your property, we can help you save money every day by providing more durable solutions. For the best selection of local retaining wall services, give us a call.
Types of Retaining wall
Retaining walls are structures built to resist soil shearing and material pressure from behind. The lateral force might be caused by earth filling, liquid pressure, sand, and other granular substances behind the retaining wall structure. Retaining walls come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are used for a variety of reasons.
You should be aware of the many types of retaining walls available if you want to make educated decisions. There are four different types of retaining walls that would work well in an Australian habitat.
- Gravity retaining walls – A gravity wall, one of the most prevalent types of retaining walls, built with a thicker base and a little backwards lean using its weight to keep the earth in place. Battering is the process of bending a wall. If you observe that the wall bends over time, it will need to be replaced.
- Anchored retaining walls – If you only have enough area for a lighter retaining wall and need to support a large bank of earth, anchor walls are a better choice than gravity walls. Concrete-embedded cables attach the top and bottom of the wall, which are designed to endure pressure.
- Sheet pile retaining walls – The greatest sorts of retaining walls if you’re on softer ground and need additional support. Piling retaining walls, like anchored retaining walls, are made out of cables that connect the wall to the foundation. The proper way to fix a cracked wall is with self-adhesive putty. It’s best to embed them until the force against the wall wins out.
- Cantilever retaining walls – Concrete retaining walls are a good choice if your retaining wall needs to be more durable and long-lasting. They’re made of concrete, as the name implies. A T-footing or an L-footing is used in this case. It’s important to note that they’re not entirely waterproof. You’ll need to seal them with either. The most popular types of retaining walls in a building, where more support is required but not as much as a commercial retaining wall.
What Kind of Retaining wall can ABC do?
Retaining walls may be used for both aesthetic and practical reasons, such as landscaping, property entries, and walkways. They might be a component of a building’s construction, such as the ability to separate levels, create basement walls, and use sloping land.
A variety of retaining wall designs are available, depending on the length and steepness of the slope, as well as the substance to be retained. Retaining walls have advantages and drawbacks, depending on the situation. The following are some of the most popular retaining wall materials:
Timber retaining walls are often the most cost-effective choice. Hardwood or treated pine timber may be used to build retaining walls. Because timber has an organic, natural look, it goes well in gardens.
DRY STACKED CONCRETE BLOCK – Dry-stacked concrete blocks are a great option for lower retaining walls. These bricks, which appear to be natural stones, come in a variety of hues. A wall constructed of Australian-made Hastings blocks from Austral may be both beautiful and efficient. These blocks are meant to be stacked together like a lego set, but without the need for mortar. They may be supported by a compacted road base or a concrete walkway footing. These bricks can be used to create beautiful curved walls or stairwells.
CONCRETE SLEEPER – Concrete sleeper retaining walls are made by inserting precast concrete sleepers into steel rails that have been driven deep into the earth. Concrete sleepers may be moulded to resemble wood, sandstone, slate, or natural concrete. Fencing may be placed directly on top of a concrete sleeper wall and secured with special brackets, making them ideal for boundary fencing (depending on the required permissions).
CONCRETE BLOCK RETAINING – Concrete blocks (also known as “Besser blocks” or “cinder blocks”) are frequently used in the construction sector in Australia to construct strong, long-lasting retaining walls. To fit the obstetrician’s needs, a designer creates custom walls for each location.
NATURAL STONE -Natural stone walls have been utilised for thousands of years, dating all the way back to ancient civilizations. Natural stone walls come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Large sandstone blocks that have not been fastened together but instead rest on their own weight might be an alternative. These blocks may be costly, and it will take a digger to move them since they are so heavy, therefore clear building access is required as well as some clean-up after the wall is finished.
GABION WALLS – Steel mesh baskets filled with stones are used to create gabion walls. The baskets are stacked on top of one another, with each basket usually set back a little into the slope. Hand-built gabion walls may be constructed, but using a mini-excavator or a bobcat will save time.
DRAINAGE – Retaining walls must be adequately drained since a build-up of hydrostatic pressure may cause a wall to collapse. The most typical approach of draining behind a retaining wall is to utilise a corrugated drainage pipe (or “ag pipe”) in a bed of free-draining aggregate rock surrounded by a layer of filter cloth.
Techniques that ABC uses in making the wall
Retaining walls have grown in popularity in a short amount of time and are frequently utilised in commercial and private landscaping projects. Self-installation makes retaining walls highly cost-effective.
Landscape retaining walls may be used to make sloping yards usable while managing both soil and water runoff. Retaining walls, in addition to providing a practical function, provide aesthetic appeal to your landscape. Use them in home gardens to draw attention to flower beds, porches, or yard features.
- Plan and layout – Prepare your project for the location where the retaining wall will be built. If your retaining wall is more than 4 feet tall, you’ll need to hire an expert.
- The size of your wall is determined by the size and form of the room you have. Using stakes and a strong nylon string, outline and measure your layout. Use a garden hose and spray paint to draw and map out the curved radius while installing a curving retaining wall.
- Excavation – Dig a trench for the bottom row of blocks before laying the first layer of bricks. It’s critical to dig a trench for the base where the first layer of bricks will be placed in order to construct a well-positioned, sturdy retaining wall. For every 8 inches of wall height, bury them about 1 inch deep. This gives your retaining wall strength and stability. Make sure your trench is level and compacted; it should be no more than 6 feet in length.
- Base material – Only angular, sharp-edged particles like ¾-inch minus gravel should be used as the base material. The fines of the various-sized crushed gravel aid in achieving proper compaction. Large, flat rocks, such as pea gravel, roll and loosen under pressure, causing the retaining wall to fail.
- Compact – The base should be so small that, when you walk over it, it doesn’t move at all. Place the compactor in an accessible location and fill it with your base material. This is very crucial! When you walk over it, it should not move at all.
- Bedding sand – Spread a 1-inch layer of coarse sand or ¼-inch minus gravel after compaction. This layer is utilised to bed the initial row of wall blocks.
- Establish a string line – When constructing a straight wall, use a string line to help you keep track of where the first layer of blocks will be placed. This will assist you in ensuring that the wall is straight. Obviously, this won’t work when constructing a curved wall.
- Lay the first row – Place the first row of blocks on the base material. The blocks should be placed with their edges touching. Check that all sides of the blocks are level and that they’re level front to back and side to side. Tap each block in place with a rubber mallet. Use a tiny level to check the levels of each block from front to back and side to side. If one or more blocks are not level, lift them and replace them with enough bedding material on the low side. The block should be reset using a rubber mallet.
- Second and subsequent rows – The second and subsequent rows must be staggered so that each block straddles the joint line between the two blocks beneath it in a conventional brick laying pattern. To split a block in half, use a masonry chisel or a diamond saw. To create the correct spacing for the next full block, use half blocks to ensure that it straddles the row joint over which it is resting.
- Backfill – You should utilise a backfill to strengthen the retaining wall after each row is finished. Fill in the back and sides of your blocks with crushed gravel. Backfill aids in water drainage. Before proceeding, compact the backfill. Before laying the next row of blocks, clean and sweep the top of each row.
- Capping – For your retaining walls, board or tile covering is not necessary. Capping protects your retaining walls from the elements and erosion. There are a variety of ways to end material. Certain types of retaining wall block systems come with relevant capping stones that complement the structure of the block. In addition to concrete products, there are lots of different kinds of flat pebbles or flagstone available.
Equipment and Tools that ABC uses
Blocks are a popular choice for retaining walls due to their simple installation features, which is why they’re made out of many sorts of construction materials. The blocks are constructed of lightweight aggregate materials and cement.
There are many different wall block designs on the market. A conventional block is shown here. To learn about availability and pricing for your region, contact your supplier.
Consider these points when planning your retaining wall installation:
- Geogrid fabric is recommended for walls more than 4 feet high.
- Because of the many different block designs, the maximum height is limited.
- Cover with gravel after the soil has been moistened or dried. Cover soils with filter fabric and then gravel.
- Backfill, drain piping, filter cloth, or weep holes should all be used to prevent water from pooling.
- Backfill between each layer to ensure that the waterproofing job is completed.
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions
First, read all manufacturer’s instructions, warnings, and safety precautions.
- Safety glasses
- Rubber mallet
- Spade or backhoe
- Masonry chisel for splitting
- Power saw with a diamond blade
- Power tamper or hand compactor
- Tape measure
- 3-foot piece of 2 x 4
- 6-foot piece of 2 x 6
- Stakes and string