How Important Is Drainage For Retaining Walls

How Important Is Drainage For Retaining Walls?

When building a retaining wall, the drainage is one of the most important aspects. At the building stage of the wall, whether it will be retaining stable land or holding back a large portion of earth, the effort put into the wall’s drainage will be crucial to the success of the entire wall. When you are erecting a vertical structure at any point where the height of the land changes, there is real potential for a ‘dam wall’ to be created. When this occurs, water will become trapped behind your retaining wall causing a build up in pressure and can result in a situation of the wall failing and tipping over.

With any retaining wall, there should always be a strong emphasis on the drainage and appropriate usage of materials behind the wall as it is being constructed. The main focus of any well-designed drainage system is to allow rainwater to escape during heavy rainfall and wet periods. This is achieved by installing appropriate piping behind the base of the wall and covering the piping with gravel. Usually, the more gravel used, the better, but the quality of gravel used is determined by the amount of water runoff expected or the height of the retaining wall.

One major thing to avoid when building your retaining wall is lining the back of your wall with plastic sheeting as this will surely result in the pooling of water behind the wall. If dirt seeping through the joins of the wall is something you are concerned about, you can consider lining the wall with a type of filter cloth known as Geo Fabric or Bodim. Doing this will allow clean water to pass through the fabric while holding back the soil.

In all landscape projects, the drainage component to the area is vital to the success of the overall job. It is crucial to incorporate adequate drainage systems throughout the entire construction as well as include drainage material behind your wall to prevent any future issues.

At Sole Structural Landscaping our team knows the importance of good drainage, the right materials to be used and how to design appropriate drainage systems for your retaining wall. Give us a call today.

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