Constructing a retaining walls can be an excellent DIY project for the homeowners because it can increase the beauty of their home yards. Building a retaining wall is too easy, and anybody can do it within a day if he works actively and occupies all the necessary items. The real problem arises when it is about choosing the materials for building the structure.
Here, we will help our readers by sharing an important guide, which will aid them in choosing the best materials for building a retaining wall.
How to Choose the Best Materials for Retaining Walls
Before choosing the materials for constructing these structures, there are a few characteristics that you need to consider.
Based on the size/height of the wall, the materials differ. If the size is too big, then the builder may need to choose concrete blocks or stones, or bricks for more support because woody materials can hardly withstand the vertical load. Sometimes, mortar is also needed to hold the blocks in the right place.
2. Water absorbance weathering process
Hydrophobicity is an essential issue while thinking about selecting the materials because there are some elements in the environment that are hydrophilic, while some are hydrophobic. We know that most of the elements on this planet react with water, and some elements react slowly, while some react at a faster rate. The weathering process is simply the disintegration process.
For example, concrete doesn’t absorb water, and its weathering process is too slow. On the other hand, decomposable materials like woods can get decomposed quickly once it absorbs water. This is how you can determine the durability. In addition to the moisture absorbance, temperature fluctuations, humidity are also a few factors.
3. Style and purpose
Some people want to build retaining walls for their gardens, while others want to build them to protect their lands. While designing for the gardens, you may need those materials that can be used in curvy areas. Indeed, stone and wood may give a more natural appearance. But in this case, every owner should know his purpose for construction.
2 Common materials for retaining walls
Wood is a popular construction material to build a retaining wall because of its easier accessibility. It can provide the yard a natural outlook and a rustic feeling. Since this material is a part of the environment, it can easily blend with the ambient. Besides, it is easy to handle, and anybody can build his wall by using this. However, the problem is only related to its durability. As it was a part of the living material, it gets decomposed slowly after receiving water, and sometimes, termites can also be a major problem.
Stones are heavy and strong, and people use them to build higher walls containing greater loads. Sometimes, larger stones are cut into smaller blocks to build the base of the wall, and you may also use them to build a gabion wall. The main advantage is – you don’t need anything adhesive to hold them in place. Stones can be used to build mainly gabion walls.
These are the two major materials for building retaining walls for home improvement.