Frequently Asked Questions When Building a Retaining Wall


Questions and Answers ...

Q. What is a Segmental Retaining Wall System?

A. A Segmental Retaining Wall system comprises of a set of interlocking stackable block units, which combine to form your wall. A similar principle to that of Lego blocks.

Building Retaining Wall

Q. What is Geogrid?

A. Geogrid is a polyester or polypropylene material that is used to stabilize the soil behind the wall. Recommended for use on walls over 4 feet high, and those walls on a slope.

Q. How Tall Can I Build a Retaining Wall?

A. The height of the Retaining Wall depends on the conditions of the site where it is to be built. Things that should be considered are; soil grading, state of the soil, slope of the site, groundwater, and the presence of surcharge loads.

Tall Retaining Wall

It also depends on the type of material your blocks are made of, whether they are heavy or light. The batter or setback should also be taken into consideration.

It is recommended that you consult the opinion of a professional before you start to build your Retaining Wall.

Q. Do I Need a Permit to Build a Retaining Wall?

A. You only a permit if your Retaining Wall is over 4 foot high.

Q. What is the Lifespan of a Retaining Wall?

A. For a permanent wall stricture the general lifespan is said to be between 50 and 100 years. This does however depend on the conditions of the soil and groundwater of your site.

Q. Do I Need a Concrete Footing at the Base of the Wall?

A. No, you do not need a concrete footing, it will actually adhere the wall from being able to naturally shift. It is best to use a coarse stone aggregate for the Retaining Wall footing.

Q. Should I Install a Drain Behind the Wall?

A. It is recommended that a drainage system always be installed behind a wall structure. This enables the water to flow away from the wall, so that it maintains its strength.

Q. What Can I Use to Backfill the Retaining Wall?

A. For the first 6 to 12 inches you should backfill the wall with coarse stone, and the rest of the wall should be backfilled with compacted soil.

Tierred Retaining Wall

Q. Can I Have Curves in My Wall?

A. Yes you certainly can. There are specific Retaining Wall blocks that are made to allow the implementation of curves or even corners.

Retaining Wall Blocks and Caps

Q. What Types of Materials are Available for Retaining Walls?

A. There are many choices of materials to use for Retaining Walls. For example you may choose natural stone blocks, concrete, precast, timber, and man made boulders and pavers.

Q. When Should I Involve an Engineer in my Retaining Wall Project?

A. It is recommended that you consult an engineer when the wall you are building is over 4 foot high, and when the conditions of your site are unusual or specific.