Retaining walls provide a practical and aesthetic benefit for any land, whether that’s in your home or in a public place. But is this a specialist job for landscaping professionals? Who can build a retaining wall?
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’s the point of a retaining wall?
Retaining walls are mainly used to organise land, it is generally to organise a hill or slope, reducing its length by erecting a wall to hold the land. The result is that the land has more space, and is safer to navigate.
There is not a minimum height or degree that a retaining wall can be applied to, meaning that retaining walls can be applied in almost any situation.
A retaining wall in a garden could create more space for installations such as a shed, or a flower bed, or even a space to relax within the garden. In public spaces, a retaining wall can make room for almost anything, depending on the general use of the public space.
What happens if I don’t have a retaining wall?
This can depend on where the retaining wall is located. If the slope/hill is located in the garden, you can expect that the slope to be a slip hazard.
The height of the slope or hill can also make it subject to facilitating landslides or other environmental hazards. Each slope/hill has its own possibilities in terms of hazards depending on its location, and careful consideration must be given to ensure the retaining wall helps the situation.
Who can build a retaining wall?
Retaining walls can typically be built by almost anybody with the right equipment, expertise, and planning. However, this does not mean that everybody should try to do it. The best option is to contact a local landscaper, they will provide the best guidance in order to ensure your retaining wall has everything it needs to be functional and long-lasting.
Interlocking Concrete Blocks offers a streamlined method when it comes to making retaining walls, as they can be used as the retaining walls themselves, this saves you from constructing the walls from scratch.
Does a landscaper have to make the retaining wall?
Not exactly, you can commission a landscaper to create an accurate blueprint of the required measurements needed for your retaining wall. Once the measurements are established, inform the landscaper that Interlocking Concrete Blocks will be used to create the wall itself.
Schedule a follow-up with the landscaper once the concrete blocks are installed. This is just to ensure that the retaining wall is in full working order, and in case the landscaper has any other work to do once the blocks have been delivered and installed.
Is it better to use concrete or metal for a retaining wall?
Both of these materials are durable, so would be appropriate to use for a retaining wall. However, metal is nominally less durable than concrete, and is also prone to rust. Additionally, depending on what the metal is used for, it may require specialist work, which can cost more.
Interlocking concrete blocks explained
Interlocking Concrete Blocks are an effective multipurpose building material which offers a reliable 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
How to spot a bad retaining wall
You can spot a poorly constructed, or deteriorating retaining wall through the following indicators.
- The surface being retained forms puddles in the rain. Indicating inadequate drainage.
- The surface being retained is uneven or has become uneven over time.
- You have noticed the retaining wall is leaning, or is leaning progressively as time passes.
- The wall has moved over time due to having inadequate or no footings.
Signs of a good retaining wall
- Firmly grounded and unable to be moved by external forces, or the weight it is retaining.
- Has a level surface at the retained area.
- The retaining wall is not bulging, leaking or leaning.
- It does not compromise the safety of anyone in its vicinity.
- It creates, or makes, greater use of the space it is in.
Why Interlocking Concrete Blocks are good for retaining walls
- With a greater durability than metal and wood, especially in the ever-changing landscape provided by the weather in England, Interlocking Concrete blocks do not waver against any of the elements that can hinder wood and metal over time.
- Interlocking Concrete Blocks do not need cement to attach them, or anything else for that matter. The attachment is so secure that only a high velocity impact, or manual removal, can detach the blocks.
- As a result of bypassing the need for binding materials, you are not only saving money that would have been spent on extra resources, but you are also saving money on additional manpower.
- The immense weight of an individual Interlocking Concrete Block cannot be moved without mechanical assistance, this implies that a greater amount of interconnected Interlocking Concrete Blocks provides a larger weight. This increase in weight means that it is more than suitable to counter the weight of soil behind the retaining wall. This resistance is only improved with adequate footings.
Create a retaining wall today
In this blog, we hope to have answered the question “Who can build a retaining wall?” 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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