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Retaining Walls – The Advantages and Limitations

Retaining walls are usually made of concrete, stone or a combination of the two and can be used to surround a garden, yard or lawn to retain soil. Retaining walls are fairly permanent walls, which are used to support soil lateral to the original ground surface, so that it may be retained in different levels on both sides. They are commonly constructed in a standard V-shaped form and as such may be placed anywhere in a garden. Retaining walls provide a variety of advantages, including:

Drainage. Retaining walls keep soil in place by channeling it off to one side and holding it in place. This is achieved by channeling runoff from slopes, which results in water draining into a drainage system. Proper drainage patterns are important to prevent flooding and erosion.

Noise Reduction. By channeling runoff away from the house, retaining walls to minimize the amount of noise that can be heard outside of the house. For instance, concrete block walls with a single block landing and a straight line of bricks or stone along the bottom are ideal because these maximize passive sound deadening. In addition, a stone wall provides excellent insulation from sound, even when materials such as brick are used.

Strength and Beauty. These walls are typically built to last for a long time since they are often reinforced with concrete, stone or metal and have minimal mortar joints. Moreover, the top half of the wall may be left unadorned while the bottom half is designed and built to accommodate attractive stone or brick grouting. When building a retaining wall, one can create them to blend aesthetically with the landscape, add height to a home or build them to imitate gazebos or arched fences. Furthermore, with proper building techniques, such as concrete wall construction and reinforced concrete construction, these walls can look very attractive even when they do not have a visible top.

Maintenance-Free and Low-Cost. Building these walls requires little maintenance except for occasional cleaning and repairs. Typically, they are constructed to provide maximum protection against the effects of nature. Since they require little maintenance, you will save much money on your utilities over time.

Materials to Avoid: Wood is not appropriate for all types of Srw systems due to its susceptibility to rotting, insects and termites. Drastic changes in temperature can affect wood too. For this reason, stucco, gypsum and other material options are better alternatives than wood for most projects involving retaining walls. The use of lumber materials should also be minimized as much as possible. For the most attractive wall structure, consider using blocks with rounded corners as they make the best-looking exterior wall surface.

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