Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a structure which is designed to withstand the lateral pressure of soil or hold back soil materials. The retaining wall can be an independent structure, or it may be a part of a wider construction project (such as a building).

The idea is to hold back soil mass, to prevent it from slipping, collapsing, or eroding. The wall may be a necessary barrier to prevent the soil from sloping downwards, into a landslide.

The retaining wall can also be built for safety, for privacy, or for aesthetic purposes (e.g. in a public garden.

Retaining walls are often built on land where there are slopes, dips and inclines.

Read on to find out more about retaining walls and discover the answers to frequently asked questions about this topic.

What Are The Types Of Retaining Wall & What Is A Retaining Wall Made From?

There are many different types of retaining walls, used in construction projects all over the world, including:

A retaining wall can be built using bricks, stone, or concrete blocks.

But if you are a DIY enthusiast, then the most efficient way to build a retaining wall is by using Interlocking Concrete Blocks.

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.

You don’t need mortar or fixings such as grout to put together a retaining wall using Interlocking Concrete Blocks. These durable blocks simply snap together neatly, making the creation of a retaining wall a breeze! This greatly speeds up the building process and requires less manpower- therefore saving you time and money.

Additionally, Interlocking Concrete Blocks are so strong, that they provide great protection from blasts. These weatherproof concrete blocks also have excellent freeze-thaw resistance, so they won’t be damaged in extreme weather conditions like heavy snow and torrential rain.

Therefore, Interlocking Concrete Blocks are durable, cost-effective and versatile- so why not use them to build your retaining wall today?

Should You Put a Barrier Between Wood and Concrete

What Are The Advantages Of A Retaining Wall?

There are various advantages to having a retaining wall on your land, as it can:

Alongside these benefits of retaining walls, they can be used to create:

  • Material Storage bays
  • Blast walls
  • Salt stores
  • Crash protection
  • Flood protection
  • Push walls
  • Security barriers
  • Segregation bays i.e recycling centres
  • Retaining walls
  • Industrial buildings
  • Fire breaks
  • Culverts
  • Counterweights
  • Roadblocks

And much more.

5 Inexpensive Retaining Wall Ideas

How Can You Stay Safe When Building A Retaining Wall?

You should always take great care when building a retaining wall. Follow these handy tips to stay safe:

  • It takes planning and skill to build an adequate retaining wall to suit your requirements. If you don’t have the knowledge or experience needed to design and construct a retaining wall, then don’t do it yourself. Hire an experienced construction professional or contractor to do the work for you.
  • Before building your retaining wall, check with your local building authority to see if there are any restrictions and requirements.
  • Choose building materials that you can work with easily- if you have never used materials like cement and mortar before, then Interlocking Concrete Blocks are an ideal solution.
  • Always wear protective gear such as a safety helmet, outdoor clothing, gloves, and protective footwear.
  • Never build a retaining wall on a landfill or dangerous land. Your retaining wall should rest on the cut or undisturbed ground.
  • Don’t load out concrete blocks by hand- use a machine or handling equipment, like a forklift.
  • If you need to handle lighter concrete blocks, handle them close to the body when lifting into position.
  • Do not stand on concrete blocks.
  • When operating a forklift, wear a hard hat, safety shoes and a high-visibility jacket.
  • Inspect the forklift for defects before operating and watch out for passers-by in your blind spots.
  • If you need to mechanically cut any concrete blocks, make sure you wear appropriate eye protection.

About PPC Concrete Products

PPC Concrete Products is a Greater Manchester based supplier of building materials.

We supply high-quality concrete blocks all over the UK.

To learn more about PPC Concrete Products, visit the company website here.

Contact us on 01706 655245 or by emailing us at info@ppcconcreteproducts.co.uk .

Click here to learn more about our Interlocking Concrete Blocks and request a quote.

FAQs

Yes, if you want to use regular concrete blocks for a retaining wall, you are able to, but if you want a simple and efficient method, Interlocking concrete blocks are the way to go. Below, we explain the building of a retaining wall using our blocks.

The first factor before building an interlocking retaining wall is determining the depth of the foundations. 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 understand retaining walls can come in different lengths, shapes sizes and for clients who have different needs. So to show you our abilities and expertise, we have a review for you to read that highlights and reviews a job we did for JO Transport.

When it comes to the depth of a retaining wall made from our blocks, generally no foundation needs to be laid when placing our blocks.

This may vary in the case of retaining walls. The amount of soil being held by the wall, as well as if this is a temporary measure plays a factor in the required depth needed if at all.

Are you considering using interlocking concrete blocks to create a retaining wall? Contact us directly for the best advice to help you along the way.

The instability of a retaining wall has a few signs you can see, they are:

  • The retaining wall isn’t level
  • There are bulges on the wall itself
  • There is leakage
  • Its shape is changing over time
  • If made from wood, it may be rotten, bent or chipped

Generally, the instability comes as a result of inadequate development of the retaining wall in other instances it could be the weight of the soil it is holding back has increased beyond the capacity it can handle. This usually takes place if the drainage isn’t adequate.

The pricing of using concrete as opposed to using blocks depends entirely on the size of the site you intend to create the retaining wall at.

Though it must be noted that interlocking concrete blocks require less resources and less people on site to build as a retaining wall. Along with this, it will be a quicker process as our interlocking concrete blocks simply need to be connected to each other rather than cementing & waiting for it to dry etc.

If you want a simple and efficient method, Interlocking concrete blocks are the way to go. You do not need to fill a retaining wall when using our interlocking concrete blocks. Below, we explain the building of a retaining wall using our blocks.

The first factor before building an interlocking retaining wall is determining the depth of the foundations. 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.

The thickness of a retaining wall varies as it is dependent on the length and height of the intended retaining wall as well as the type of retaining wall. That being said, a retaining wall that is not thick is more likely to break or fall due to the weight it is holding.

Here is a retaining wall calculator you can use to get an understanding of what to expect in regard to structure measurements and costings. Please note that this calculator does NOT include interlocking concrete blocks. You should contact us directly.

Interlocking concrete blocks present a reliable and long lasting alternative when creating a retaining wall, let us tell you more about them.

Retaining walls are extremely strong and versatile. They have to be designed and built to handle hillside and earth, especially during adverse weather conditions and natural disasters.

Don’t underestimate the strength of retaining walls- a 4-foot high, 15-foot long wall could be holding back as much as 20 tons of saturated soil!

Generally, a retaining wall should be about 3 to 4 feet in height. Anything higher than this should be constructed by professionals, as this is not an easy DIY job.

According to the engineer Brian Walker, a retaining wall should be ½ to 1/3 the height of your structure– because if the wall is too tall for the base, then the structure may collapse during bad weather.

When building a retaining wall, a proper drainage system is essential.

During rain, storms and snowfall, water will run down the wall, which will cause damage to the soil and plants nearby, causing them to erode.

That is why your retaining wall needs a drainage system, to redirect that water away from vulnerable areas and reduce the impact to the structure and its surroundings.

A handy tip is to install drainage stone at the back of the retaining wall and filter fabric above the drainage stone, as well as a perforated drainage pipe which runs the full length of your wall. This will divert any water away from the back of the wall and alleviate any pressure building up, which will cause the footing to collapse.

Drainage is also important because it reduces the chances of future repairs needed- which saves you the time, effort and money required to fix the retaining wall if there are any cracks or issues.

Footing is the underground concrete structure that the retaining wall rests upon, to keep it level and secure. Without proper footing, the retaining wall may collapse.

If your retaining wall tips forward or bulges out, then the footing is not effectively supporting the wall.

Your retaining wall should have a footing which is roughly two times the width of the wall and as deep as the wall is wide.

You should include weep holes or drain pipes in the base of the retaining wall and lay a backfill of gravel directly behind the wall. The gravel will collect water seeping through the soil and funnel the water to the weep holes or drain pipes, reducing pressure on the walls.

If you don’t want to use gravel for your footing, you can also use concrete pours.

A retaining wall is a structure designed to restrain soil to a slope it would not naturally keep to. A retaining wall could be built in order to organise a road by a small hill.

A variety of blocks or gabion baskets can be used to secure a retaining wall. Though another viable and time-efficient method that can be used are interlocking concrete blocks.

If you want a simple and efficient method, Interlocking concrete blocks are the way to go. You do not need to fill a retaining wall when using our interlocking concrete blocks. Below, we explain the building of a retaining wall using our blocks.

Yes, you may need a forklift when building a retaining wall because the building materials may be too heavy to carry and move by yourself.

Forklift hire is generally affordable, and you won’t need to rent it out for long, to build a retaining wall.