In this article we will deal with subtleties and nuances of the problem how to build a retaining wall on a slope?
The main problems of suburban areas with a slope are landslides and washout of fertile soil in the process of snow melting and raining. It is fraught with unpleasant consequences not only for the plot, but also for structures located there. To prevent all this, you can use so-called retaining wall – an obstacle that can restrain the soil motions, even if your construction is located on a slope. Let’s examine the process of how to build a retaining wall on a slope.
A retaining wall on a slope: how it is arranged and how it works
Such a construction is just a thick barrier going with its base deep in the soil. This is an artificial terrace or step cascade of them, each element of which holds a certain soil portion. This barrier can be made of various materials. In fact everything that is able to hold fast the soil may suit here. This technology has a number of good materials that have shown their best sides.
A retaining wall works quite simple. The only condition for its high-quality and long-term work is its base at the slope foot. That is why the construction of terraces due to a retaining wall begins from the bottom of the slope – first, a retaining wall is placed, then up the hill a second wall is mounted, which base goes below the upper part of the previous wall for at least 40 inches, then the third one, the fourth one and so on. Together, several barriers form a high retaining wall construction, the purpose of which is keeping the soil on a slope.
A retaining wall: features and nuances of construction
As mentioned above, during the operation of these products people could identify a number of materials that have shown themselves from the best side – constructions of which serve for quite long period and show excellent job with their duties to deter landslides. Such materials are stones and concrete. Alternatively, you can use bricks, but under natural conditions (without additional protection) of the water action and frost influence, they are quickly destroyed.
- A stone retaining wall. This material allows making the construction with no additional costs and much effort. Such walls serve for a long time and have very different aesthetic look – they fit into any landscape design. The only disadvantage of this structure is the most expensive natural stone, which you will need a lot.
- A concrete retaining wall. This is a really strong product, especially if it is reinforced by all rules of its construction. This structure almost does not have deficiencies – only the manufacturing difficulty.
- There is a third option – a combined retaining wall, which is made of natural stone and concrete. A stone has a function of formwork and decoration finishing, and the concrete material plays the role of the structure supporting. It is made in a simple way, and the cost of its production due to eliminating of materials for the formwork construction is minimized.
How to build a retaining wall on a slope: process steps
So, for better understanding the solution of question how to build a retaining wall on a slope, we will divide its structure into three main components, which should be built step by step:
- Foundation. It has a very interesting and ambiguous installation – it is not just a lump of concrete placed in the ground. The foundation shape has particular importance, which aims to ensure a wall under the pressure of the soil will not change either the position or the slope. Such a foundation is installed on a gravel bed, the thickness of which should be at least 8 inches. As in all other cases, the foundation is reinforced and poured at one time to get a monolithic basement.
- Retaining wall. In the manufacturing process special attention should be given for two important points. Firstly, it is an inclination – it should be facing up to the slope at least 5-10 degrees. It needs to be put in the process of formwork installation – if a wall is made of stone, you will need to place it at an angle. Secondly, the reinforcement – a framework of reinforcement should be placed inside the formwork. And, of course, the monolith, which is achieved only by one-time concreting of the entire retaining wall.
- Drainage. It helps to keep the soil at a wall base almost dry. Near the wall from the top of a slope place a drainage tube in the gravel. In turn, in order to prevent the silting of gravel layer, it is wrapped with the geotextile fabric. A drainage pipe is lowered down the slope, where it gets rid of the water.
- Finishing. These walls may be decorated with tiles, stones, painted in different colors. Chose unusual ways – lay the relief wall surface at the stage of concrete pouring, using decorative formwork.