Another sunny day and more education to be had. Back down to Ideal Block, today we discussed advanced wall installation. We see it all the time, a retaining wall is installed and looks great, only to fail a few years later. With retaining and landscape walls, often what you don’t see is what’s important.
With every wall being different it’s important to note the goal for the wall. Base preparation and installation can vary greatly from a simple decorative wall to a load bearing structural wall. What the wall is holding up, referred to as “surcharge” determines base depth, use of reinforcing geo-grid fabric and even the type of block that is selected.
Proper drainage is another important design feature that is often the cause of failure. When retaining earth, it’s important to allow areas for water to drain from behind the wall. Without such drainage water can buildup exerting extreme forces on the wall, ultimately leading to its failure. A good rule of thumb is to have water drain to “daylight” at least every 50’. From block selection, to material installation and base preparation; it’s truly the preparation work that will allow a wall to stand the test of time.