Retaining walls can be built with metal, wood, and gabion baskets, but it can be argued that the most effective, and least time-consuming method is interlocking concrete blocks. That’s why we will be sharing with you everything you need to know about building a retaining wall with interlocking concrete blocks.
PPC Concrete Products is here to provide the answers you may be looking for whilst giving you an insight into the quality concrete options we supply. Our supplies are fit for purpose and generally provide no issues with building regulations, not to mention being safe to use for a variety of construction needs.
The demand for construction is only increasing, on a private and industrial level. Whichever side you fall into, An interlocking concrete block may be an option to help keep your site secure regardless of its shape.
With that being said, here’s all the information you need to know for this multi-purpose building resource.
Why are retaining walls needed?
A retaining wall is a structure designed to restrain or land to a slope it would not naturally keep to. A retaining wall could be built in order to organise land in public places or around your own home. A retaining wall can also help to level any land that is on a slant or hill.
In terms of what can be used for a retaining wall, there are many options including gabion baskets, wood and metal, though it can be argued that the easiest and cost effective method would be interlocking concrete blocks.
The reason we need retaining walls is in the name, to retain its content within a wall, and retaining walls are often used to alter the level of the land it is erected on, which usually means the land goes from being uneven, to even.
Want to know more? Click here for an in-depth look at retaining walls.
What makes a retaining wall lean?
When a retaining wall starts to lean it can be due to a number of things including
- Insufficient drainage, this causes additional weight to be added to the wall.
- The wall’s material has become weak due to degradation over time.
- External damage/purposely manipulating the wall.
- Weak foundations or structure
- Using sub-quality materials when constructing the wall
- Natural changes in the environment that can happen over time.
Interlocking concrete blocks can be the most easiest and effective method when it comes to setting up a retaining wall, let us tell you some more about them.
Interlocking concrete blocks explained
As building regulations came into being in England, the requirement of having fireproof dwellings was compulsory, this was achieved by subsequent houses being made of stone and brick. Interlocking concrete blocks present a modern alternative.
Interlocking Concrete Blocks are a unique form of pre-cast concrete blocks that are designed to hold together by using pre-measured studs and recesses. These concrete blocks are built with unique profiles and features, which allow them to fit perfectly into each other.
Here are just some of the things interlocking concrete blocks can be used to make.
- Material Storage bays
- Blast walls
- Salt stores
- Crash protection
- Push walls
- Security barriers
- Segregation bays i.e recycling centres
- Retaining walls
- Industrial buildings
- Fire breaks
What are the advantages of interlocking concrete blocks?
- Longer lasting and more durable than a Gabion basket
- Quicker and less hassle to install
- No need for mortar, saving you money and time
- No need for steel reinforcement or shuttering
- Resistant to extreme weather conditions
- Fire-resistant properties, mitigating the spread of fire depending on the structure
- Little maintenance required
- Often, no foundation is needed before installing
- Sound resistant
- Ability to stack them upon each other
- Flexibility in sizes
- Appropriate for temporary and/or permanent buildings
- Unlikely to be displaced due to the interlocking function
- Can be moved with standard lifting equipment
Do all interlocking concrete blocks look the same?
Not at all, we offer a variety of sizes and an alternate option in terms of style. Regardless of what size you choose, it will be able to stack and interlock. You can get in touch with us if you need help with understanding if a size is applicable for your project. Click this link to see everything you need to know about our interlocking concrete blocks.
Building a retaining wall with interlocking concrete blocks
The first important factor before building a retaining wall is determining the depth of the foundations otherwise known as the footings. If the soil is firm and well-drained, 300mm should be enough. Alternatively, if the soil is not as firm and unstable, 450mm would be suitable. (This will vary depending on the need for the foundation, size, project etc).
After the foundation has been measured, made and set, placement of the concrete blocks can take place to the desired height.
As there is no need for mortar or any binding facilitation, interlocking the blocks via stacking so their studs and recesses connect will be more than enough to guarantee a stable structure.
We must highlight that this is a very basic outlining of how to create a retaining wall using our Interlocking Concrete Blocks. We cannot account for all of the varying factors that may occur in the area you want to build your retaining wall. We strongly advise you to seek the advice & services of professionals before making any commitments.
What happens if I use wood to make a retaining wall?
Wood can be used, and has been used to make retaining walls in the past. It is mainly a case of making sure you have your footings at the right depth, and a sturdy foundation that can support the weight over years to come.
Although wood is a viable option, it can be subject to degradation as a result of weather, and isn’t as physically resilient as concrete or metal, meaning it would take less of an impact, or pressure for it to break.
Is metal good for a retaining wall?
Making a metal retaining wall isn’t a problem, you have to make sure the metal won’t rust and can support the weight it is holding. Allowing the metal to rust can damage its structure, compromising the integrity of your retaining wall.
Can I make a retaining wall myself?
Yes, you can make a retaining wall yourself as long as you have the equipment, understanding, experience, resources, and necessary permissions (if applicable).
Opting for this method will already be time-consuming, unless you have all of the previously mentioned requirements, we feel it is best to consult an expert to determine the relevant measurements and work that needs to be done.
Purchase interlocking concrete blocks today
In this blog, we hope to have given you all the answers you need for building a retaining wall with interlocking concrete blocks, whilst also providing extra information in regard to construction solutions that we offer.
Take a read of our case studies to truly understand how we have provided solutions for business in the past with the use of our interlocking concrete blocks, and ultimately, how we can help you today.
Read our blog page for more insights into our passion, construction.
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