Retaining Walls in Richmond, VA
Retaining walls are a relatively simple way to add aesthetically pleasing visual interest in your landscape project for your Richmond home or Richmond business. People with many hills in their yard often have a hard time using the space effectively and beautifully, especially if the hills are very steep. Retaining walls are multi-functional! If those difficult slopes are walled off properly, they become much safer as well as more attractive and usable. Terraces can be built into the retaining wall design as well for added flowers and plants which can create a lovely flowing landscape look. A variety of retaining wall materials are available so that your Richmond landscaping project can suit your style as well as compliment the exterior of your home or business.
Having a properly installed retaining wall is important for your safety. The professionals of Beaver Farm Landscaping will start with a proper foundation when installing your retaining wall, large or small, to avoid any buckling or shifting. We can install free standing retaining walls, walls with seating built in terraces, segmental retaining walls (SRW), or simple garden walls to help keep your plants safe from unwanted visitors. For a more natural look, we can install a boulder wall using various sizes of rock and put in plants such as creeping sedum to continue the natural look.
Why use retaining walls besides the visual appeal?
A retaining wall is a structure that holds back soil or rock from a building, structure or area. Retaining walls prevent downslope movement or erosion, and provide support for vertical or near-vertical grade changes. Cofferdams and bulkheads, structures that hold back water, are sometimes also considered retaining walls. Retaining walls are generally made of masonry, stone, brick, concrete, vinyl, steel, or timber. Railroad ties were once very popular and inexpensive retaining material, but due to environmental concerns railroad ties have fallen out of favor . Retaining walls are often used as a barrier on a beach or shoreline to stop the earth from eroding and collapsing.
It is very important to keep in mind for your retaining wall design and proper installation that the material being retained is attempting to move forward and down a slope due to gravity therefore creating a lateral earth pressure behind the retaining wall. The effect of this pressure depends on the angle of internal friction and the cohesive strength of the retained material, as well as the direction and magnitude of movement the retaining wall is holding in place. Lateral earth pressures are typically smallest at the top of the wall and increase toward the bottom. These earth pressures will push the retaining wall forward or overturn it if this gravitational force is not properly addressed in design and installation. Also, beware of any groundwater behind the wall that is not dissipated by a drainage system because this can cause an additional horizontal hydrostatic pressure on retaining walls as well.