When many people see retaining walls, they believe they were added for landscaping purposes, perhaps to make tiered flowerbeds or simply to add interest to the front yard. In fact, these walls play an important part in protecting your home and property from erosion, especially if you live on or near a hill. You may need to add one of these walls yourself if you notice certain issues at your own home.
When you live on top of a "sliding" hill, your home's foundation can be damaged by the pressure of moving soil. If your home is downhill from "soil fault lines," it could be destroyed during or after an earthquake by mounds of loose soil. Erosion can also hurt your foundation by putting pressure on it with compacted soil. Also, your foundation can be weakened if soil is washed away from your foundation. If you notice signs of a potential problem, contact a contractor to find out what kind of wall system you need.
Retaining walls can be constructed out of various materials, including concrete, stone, and brick. Popular types include gravity walls, reinforced retaining walls, and cantilever walls. A gravity wall is a thick wall designed to hold back large amounts of soil. Reinforced walls employ bars in the wall to give them additional strength. A cantilever wall is actually attached to a foundation. The type of wall you choose will depend on the severity of your erosion problem.
Fortunately, you can add landscaping elements to your retaining walls to make them an asset to your home. You can plant a variety of annuals and perennials around the base of your wall, or you can have two retaining walls set a few feet apart. You can fill the spaces with soil and varieties of blooming and non-blooming plants for a beautiful look. In addition, the multi-layered wall will be especially strong. If done correctly, your retaining walls will add beauty to your home while helping to keep it safe from the ill effects of erosion.
Retaining walls are a necessity for many homes that are placed near or on a hill. They can prevent serious foundation damage. They can also keep your home in place and mounds of unwanted soil out of your yard. Many homes can benefit from the added stability that these walls give. Contact a contractor such as Geotech Solutions Inc for an assessment of your home's vulnerability to erosion.