When it is about constructing a wall in the backyard, homeowners can actually construct easily without hiring any engineers or builders. A few mistakes of the retaining wall builders can be very costly. Here, we will show you some of the common mistakes that can be very costly, and you may face severe consequences.
Retaining walls can be a useful structure that can save your land by protecting the soil beneath your house or agricultural lands. These structures can provide support to the soil and increase the shear strength of the soil. When a retaining wall can withstand the lateral pressure, it can survive. Nowadays, many homeowners are building retaining walls in their yards either to enhance the beauty or to increase the stability of their lands.
Costly mistakes while building the retaining wall builders
1. Not focusing on the soil properties
Before you start anything or excavating the land, it is a must to investigate the soil properties. Let us make it clear. Soils that have a higher clay percentage tend to swell after heavy rain. As a result, greater pressure becomes an issue, which pushes the wall. In addition to this, clayey soil retains more water and doesn’t want to dry faster. These types of soils should be avoided to construct the structures. If you don’t have any other ways, then mix sands with these soils to reduce the amount of clay.
2. Not compacting the ground
Compaction destroys the internal porosity of the soil and increases the density of soil particles. Thus, soil compaction increases the shear strength of the soil, which can withstand more stresses and have a greater bearing capacity. Some people don’t compact the soil properly during the construction, and as a consequence, subsidence takes place.
3. Wrong materials for construction
Some homeowners want to construct the retaining wall with cheaper materials like softwood, bricks, and other things. But remember that every material on this earth face a weathering process, which means every material will disintegrate. For example, when you choose woody materials, it will be decomposed slowly after receiving water. When you use bricks, stones, or concrete, you may see cracks or cervices after many years, which is a sign that the materials are being weathered slowly. Of course, the weathering rate varies, so it is wise to choose the materials that don’t change within a few years.
4. Drainage system
An improved drainage system will ensure the stability of the land, and it will stay strong. Poor drainage system increases the pressure, which not only disturbs the soil but also pushes the wall. This is why we recommend you improve the drainage system behind the retaining wall by placing perforated pipes at the bottom.
5. Backfilling materials
Many homeowners want to use the native soils after constructing retaining walls for home improvement. But using native soil as the backfilling materials may not improve the drainage system. We advise you to use gravel and sand right behind the wall to enhance the durability, and after that, you can keep the native soils. It will be a better idea to place the soils afar from the wall to reduce the hydrostatic pressure.
These are the five mistakes during the construction of a retaining wall. Homeowners should focus on these issues to avoid any kind of costly failures.