Does Your Yard Need a Retaining Wall?

It’s interesting how humans often fail to notice what they don’t appreciate. For instance, retaining walls are found around many homes, businesses and schools, but until you realize you might need a one, you probably don’t pay much attention to the retaining walls in your neighborhood.

The following is a look at what retaining walls are and how to tell if you need one, as well as a discussion of some retaining wall design options to beautify your house landscaping.

The Functions of a Retaining Wall

Retaining walls are often found in places where extra support is needed to prevent the earth from moving downhill with erosion. The most basic function of a retaining wall is to battle gravity; the lateral force of the slope must be offset in the retaining wall’s design. Retaining walls can also:

Provide usable land. People used retaining wall techniques to create terraces of usable land on slopes. Consider the incredible terraces of ancient South American civilizations; farmers in Peru’s Sacred Valley still use the area’s Andinas, or agricultural terraces, to grow lush produce. A retaining wall can serve the same purpose (albeit on a much smaller scale) for your house; landscaping is much easier when you have a level area in your yard.

Manage water runoff. Retaining walls also help slow the flow of rainwater; in this way, they can increase the utility of your gardening and lawn care. Colorado homeowners can help keep polluted street water out of nearby rivers by installing a water-thirsty retaining wall system, perhaps with a rain garden incorporated in its design.

Provide extra seating. Once your retaining wall is up, it may provide several unanticipated services; landscaping seating is an example. Depending on the location of your retaining wall, it may prove to be a popular place to sit and chat.

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