April 17, 2015

Don’t Let a Rainy Day Spoil Your Retaining Wall Project

Building a retaining wall can be easy. Just a few simple steps and some thoughtful planning can make just about any wall design a reality.  A common step in the planning process that is often overlooked is managing the water on the site.  The success of your wall project can depend on how well this is done.  So where does the water go?

The idea is to keep the water that flows on the site to travel away from or around the retaining wall – not through or behind the wall.  This causes extra pressure and weight on the wall and could potentially cause the wall to fail.  To avoid this type of scenario simply plan an appropriate path for this water to travel. 

When designing your wall, take a look at the layout of your entire site. Where does the water flow?  Once the wall is in, where will that water go?  You may need to incorporate swales or berms to deter the water from heading toward the wall.  The Allan Block Landscape Walls Guide has some good information on this.  Click here to check it out.

Aside from where the water goes after the wall is built, you may also want to take some time to think about water while building and staging your materials.  If you get a heavy down pour during construction, you definitely want to make sure that water travels away from your wall. 


With the water on your project managed properly you can rest easy knowing that your wall will stand tall and stay dry for a long time to come.