There are some cases when retaining walls are necessary. In some instances, simply using supportive landscaping practices works just the same. The purpose of the walls is to prevent the earth from eroding or falling completely in areas where landslides are prominent. Most are made from concrete that is reinforced with re-bar for added stabilization and strength.
Over time, retaining walls are known to begin to crumble simply due to exposure to weather elements. In some cases, using a concrete mixture to fill in cracks or small splits can repair them. Where the damage is more severe, the entire structure would need to be removed and replaced. If this is the case, ask the crew managing the project to excavate eight inches to one foot below the ground surface and add in support stakes made of solid metal before pouring the foundation concrete. Another option in this process is to have support stakes drilled into the ground toward your home that will attach to the support structure. This will reinforce it and prevent crumbling or bowing out of the structure.
If you prefer to use structural support landscape techniques instead, treated wood works best. You will want to use a heavy beam, similar to a railroad tie. The same process of a concrete base with metal stakes going downward into the ground and support stakes toward the home that attach to the wood still applies. This strengthens the beams as well. Treated wood should also be sealed in a high-quality weather protectant to prevent rotting. This option gives you the opportunity to plant shrubbery or flowers near the edge of the wood structure to add curb appeal while protecting the land around your home.
Retaining walls can be expensive, and in some cases, are covered by homeowner’s insurance when weather takes its toll on them. You should always get several quotes and choose a company that is well known as well as experienced, licensed, and bonded. Always check the validity of licensing and read reviews of the company with the Better Business Bureau and additional online sources. An informed and educated decision will ensure that the structure you need built or repaired is done so properly. View any available portfolios and references provided by the company you choose. It is also important to read any contracts presented entirely, including disclaimers and additional fee statements.
This is an important decision and you should take your time in deciding on the best option and company to perform this task. Inquire about the process that each company uses to perform this job as well as the materials they use. Using materials that will last several decades is crucial. The design and process are just as important as the cost and finished structure.