When you live on a slope, runoff can wreak havoc on your lawn. Installing a retaining wall will help you to manage soil erosion and rain flow while also adding beauty to your landscape. However, there are several different kinds of walls to choose from. Consider these options, along with your needs, style, and available space, to determine which is right for you.
Your Guide to Residential Retaining Wall Options
1. Gravity Wall
Many homeowners install gravity retaining walls to prevent soil from flowing away from the home. This design relies on the weight of the material to remain standing against lateral soil pressure, as well as any sliding, overturning, or bearing forces. As a result, these are often massive structures made of stone, concrete, or masonry. While they can be up to nine feet tall, gravity walls become thinner as they increase in height, so they're best on shorter slopes.
2. Cantilevered Wall
A cantilever retaining wall is made of a single-layered wall, known as a stem, and a base slab. It's often constructed from reinforced or precast concrete and will have a uniform thickness that varies based on the load. Backfill is poured over the toe of the slab on the outside of the wall to provide leverage against pressure on the inside. While this design needs less concrete than a gravity wall, careful execution is required to ensure it won't fail.
3. Sheet Pile Wall
When a yard has soft soil and is low on space, a sheet pile retaining wall is ideal. This design involves driving either steel, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, or wood planks far enough into the ground to counter lateral pressure. For taller walls, a tieback anchor consisting of cable rods or wires is driven deep into the earth to prevent overturning or sliding pressure.
If you dread what the next rain storm might do to your lawn, contact Columbia Tree & Lawn Service to install a retaining wall. For over 40 years, this family-owned company has provided landscaping and tree services to Howard County, MD, and the surrounding areas, including Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Montgomery counties. They’re dedicated to creating and maintaining healthy lawns and helping customers find solutions that meet their budget. Call them today at (410) 740-5444 to schedule a consultation, and visit their website to learn more about their landscaping services.