How To Install And Effectively Use A Retaining Wall Around Your Home

Posted on: 15 August 2016

Floods take over homes and cause billions of dollars in damages every year. While it does not stop people from living on the coasts, on flood plains or near marshes, swamps and major waterways, it does cause a lot of heartache. If you are anywhere near a low-lying plain and lots of water and have not encountered a major flood yet, you are very lucky. If you have had to deal with a major flood and major loss of property, then it is time to get serious. Either way, you need to know how to install and effectively use a retaining wall around your home.

Consult a Structural Design Engineer

The most important aspect of retaining wall installation is its ability to withstand thousands of pounds of water pressure per square inch. It cannot effectively keep flood waters at bay if it cannot withstand a lot of pressure. A structural design engineer can look at your home, the way your yard lays and is landscaped, and figure out how thick a wall has to be and how strong it has to be to resist a major flood. With his or her measurements in hand, you can pick up the suggested supplies and get started on your retaining wall.

Ask a Construction Contractor or Landscaper to Help

If the retaining wall is only a few inches thick because of the materials the engineer has suggested, it may be possible to employ a landscaper to assist you with your project. If it is much thicker and requires several layers of bricks and mortar, then you might want to employ a construction or concrete contractor. Making sure the ground is level and ready for the wall's installation is also important, although rebar through layers of bricks and cement may be enough to secure the wall too. Both the ground preparation and the rebar/cement construction is contractor territory.

How to Effectively Use the Wall

The structural design engineer may have told you to build a four, five or even six foot retaining wall. Do not skimp on the height; the engineer made exactly the right calculations to protect your home. The wall should be installed all the way around your home with only one gate through which to exit. The engineer will also tell you what kind of door or gate to use and exactly where to put it so that it does not become the weakest point in your wall. When constructed and installed exactly, it will be nearly impossible for most flood waters to get to your home and far less likely for your home to be flooded.