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Popular Types of Retaining Walls

Retaining Walls, Parkville, MO Our experts at East lawn and Landscape are here to guide you in making the best possible decision for your needs. This section will look at four of the most common types of retaining walls, when they'd be appropriate, and how much effort each would necessitate.

Four Main Kinds of Retaining Walls

The four main types of retaining walls for landscapes include the following:

Gravity Retaining Walls

The most basic type, a gravity retaining wall, relies on the wall's mass and weight to keep soil in place. Because of the emphasis on weight, these retaining walls provide the most material flexibility. You can use bricks, pavers, or un-mortared stone, but the dry-stacked stone is quickly becoming the preferred material. While shorter walls do not require additional support, most will require a trench or footer to sit in, and some may even require concrete.

Cantilevered Retaining Walls

Cantilevered structures are also known as reinforced retaining walls owing to the steel bars that run through the masonry/concrete retaining wall. This structure has a slab foundation that extends beneath the soil the wall supports. The weight of the soil above it holds the slab in place, preventing the wall from tilting forward. This design is preferred for commercial retaining walls due to its durability. A "buttressed" retaining wall has extra vertical wings that give strength and rigidity to the base.

Anchored Retaining Walls

An anchored retaining wall is one in which anchors are installed in the ground behind the wall and are connected to it through cables or strips, allowing for the use of various "fronts". After being violently forced into the ground, the ends of these anchors are often extended by injecting mechanical techniques or pressurized concrete. This method is typically utilized for structurally thinner walls or in situations where higher loads are expected. You can use any of the options mentioned above to provide additional support.

Sheet Piling Retaining Walls

Sheet pile retaining walls are one of the most basic types of retaining walls, consisting of thin steel, wood, or vinyl walls driven directly into the soil. This is because they are frequently built with a vertically corrugated structure. For these pilings to be effective, the soil must be relatively soft, and a good rule of thumb is to drive one-third of the sheet piling into the ground for every two-thirds that will be above it.

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