Learn About Quality Retaining Walls for Your Long Island Backyard

by / Tuesday, 14 February 2012 / Published in Featured Article

Have you thought about putting a retaining wall in your backyard? Or perhaps adding a decorative touch to areas of your yard where ground levels vary? A retaining wall is an excellent addition to nearly any yard, and there are a number of benefits to putting a retaining wall up.

Why do I need a retaining wall?
A retaining wall is a wall put in place in order to “hold” areas where ground levels vary. There are actually many different uses for a wall like this, and in most instances this type of wall is not a decorative item but one which is necessary in areas like highways located on the side of hills or mountains and for residential areas in the shadow of large hills were landslides may be a danger.

Decorative retaining walls are actually built similar to this; however they are not necessarily put in place in order to divert a “landslide” in your backyard, but more as a great decoration in your yard.

Types of retaining walls
The visual style of the wall aside, there are four main types of retaining walls, each engineered and installed in such a way as to ensure it hold the land at a higher level in place. While not a huge danger in the back yard, the act of cutting away part of earth, or building a mound in order to install a retaining wall, can lead to minor slides even in a backyard. Nothing as dangerous as those on freeways, but enough to potentially harm a garden area for instance. This is why it is important that the wall is built the right way.

1. Gravity Wall – This is a wall sunk lower than bottom ground level, shaped flat facing the higher mound of earth and at an angle for extra strength going toward the lower end.

2. Piling Wall – This wall is also sunk lower in the earth, in this case even lower than a gravity wall. This type of wall is flat on both sides and must be made of a very solid material that can stand up to the weight of earth on the higher side without the benefit of an angle leaning in the opposite direction. This model uses the natural pressure the ground exerts in opposing directions to stay in place.

3. Cantilever Wall – This is shaped much like a gravity wall with a flat side and an angled side to counter the larger area of ground. Here though a section of the buried end juts out vertically beneath the earth, causing the ground to put pressure both forward toward the lower section and downward, canceling the forces out.

4. Anchored Wall – This is a simple flat wall buried to a determined depth beneath the lower level, but with an “anchor” toward the top which is dug in from toward the top of the wall, at a downward angle canceling force much the same way as a cantilever wall, but at a higher point, meaning the wall actually does not need to be as thick.

The type of wall that is right for you all depends on your personal preference and the layout of your yard. Make sure you always higher a professional contractor for your Long Island retaining walls.

Suffolk County 27543-H1 9-10-99 to present, 15435-H1 7-1-88 to 7-1-97  Nassau County H2209100000  Southampton L002384  NYC and The Five Boroughs 1321423

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