Retaining walls serve a valuable purpose when it comes to landscaping, and even general safety and accessibility in public areas. Retaining walls can be made with a variety of materials, including concrete.
That’s why, in this blog, we will show you how to build a retaining wall with concrete
At PPC Concrete Products, we are here to provide solutions for your construction needs, from the person working their own part-time project, to commercial clients, and everyone in-between.
Monthly construction output had risen an estimated by an 1.6% value in June 2023, and we would like to think our accessible concrete products had a small part to play by giving our clients easy access to reliable and easy-to-use construction solutions.
What is a retaining wall, and what are they made from?
Retaining walls are structures of varying sizes that effectively organise hills and slopes. They essentially reduce the length of the hill and slope, with the soil behind the wall being held into place.
This results in more space being available on the land that the retaining wall is erected in, whilst also being safer. Resulting in a greater level of organisation and optimisation to use the remaining space however you wish.
Retaining walls are not confined to being used in your back garden, they have the potential to be placed in any area of land that suffers from having an inconvenient hill or slope within it.
Retaining walls can be made from concrete, wood, or metal. The latter two of which are somewhat reliable, as they are held back from issues with degradation and durability.
Concrete, wood, or metal retaining walls?
Retaining walls made from wood suffer from having the potential to rot, degrade over time due to weather, and having the lowest impact durability of the three options.
Metal retaining walls have a greater durability when it comes to impact, but can suffer from rust if left unmaintained. Although its impact durability is greater, there is a chance the metal can be bent or malformed as a result of the impact, which can compromise the structural integrity of the retaining wall.
However, concrete retaining walls not only have the highest resistance to impact, they are also weatherproof. If anything, you can expect moss to grow over the concrete as time goes on, but this can easily be removed and avoided with occasional basic cleaning.
How to build a retaining wall with concrete
When it comes to building a retaining wall with concrete, we thought it would be best to share the quickest, and easiest method possible first.*
*Before conducting any construction, you must make sure you have accurate measurements and the required permissions to conduct the work.
The quickest way to build a retaining wall is with Interlocking Concrete Blocks. After ensuring you have the necessary requirements for drainage and footings, all you need to do is get your Interlocking Concrete Blocks installed, this is how.
- Using the appropriate lifting equipment, simply lift and position the lowest blocks in place first.
- After this, ensure that the blocks that are placed above are ‘locked in’ by aligning the recesses at the bottom of the block you are placing, with the studs at the top of the blocks that will get placed over.
- Repeat this process as necessary until completion.
Making a retaining wall with bricks
Before beginning this process, you should ensure the base of the retaining wall has a flat surface for the bricks to be placed.
- Set up the area to ensure your brick placement is straight.
- Prepare your cement.
- Place the bricks individually, making sure to keep them aligned and covered properly with the cement to allow them to stick together.
- Repeat this process until completion.
Although both methods seem simple, creating a retaining wall with bricks is a much more tedious and sensitive process, which requires more manpower and time. With this understanding, it appears that Interlocking Concrete Blocks are the best option when it comes to creating a retaining wall.
What are Interlocking Concrete Blocks?
Interlocking Concrete Blocks are a unique multipurpose building material which offers an effective alternative to traditional building materials and methods. They are formed from pre-cast concrete blocks, our blocks contain studs and recess at the top and bottom respectively that enables the interlocking mechanism, negating the need for any binding materials.
What can Interlocking Concrete Blocks be used for?
Here is a list of some of the uses that Interlocking Concrete Blocks can facilitate.
- 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
Can anything affect a concrete retaining wall?
Yes. As with any building material, there are factors that can impact its effectiveness, here are some factors that can negatively influence a concrete retaining wall.
- The concrete has been made incorrectly or with sub-par ingredients, resulting in a fragile form of concrete.
- There has been no consideration to drainage, resulting in puddles, leaks, bulges, or even leaning of the retaining wall.
- The earth or foundations around the retaining walls has been tampered with significantly.
- The concrete has been subject to repeated high-velocity impact.
- The land that the wall is retaining has been altered, resulting in more weight than the wall was designed to support. This results in the wall leaning over time.
How do I make a retaining wall with no experience?
The easiest way to construct a retaining wall is by making sure you do two things.
- Hire a landscaper to assess your needs, so they can decide the best way to form a retaining wall on the land you need to work on, whilst paying consideration to footings and drainage requirements.
- Insist on using Interlocking Concrete Blocks as the resource to construct the walls themselves.
By doing these two steps, you are not only ensuring your work is overseen by an expert with years of experience, but you are also guaranteeing an easy and quick installation by choosing Interlocking Concrete blocks.
If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Create a concrete retaining wall today
In this blog, we hope to have shown you how to build a retaining wall with concrete, 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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