December 5, 2013

A Snowman’s Principles for Retaining Wall Construction

What could a snowman and a retaining wall possibly have in common you ask? Well the answer is simple, proper materials and good solid construction. Without these two main principles; neither can be successful. 

Start With the Right Materials. Every good snowman must be built with the right type of snow.  You can’t make a good snowman with fluffy or slushy snow. The consistency must be just right for it to stick and hold together.  A retaining wall needs the right block, rock, soil and reinforcement to make a lasting impression.  Poor soils and the wrong material can make for a mess when it doesn't stay where you put it.

Use the Right Construction Techniques. Frosty won’t stay where you put him if he is built on a poor foundation. That bottom snowball is crucial to your winter wonder-boy’s proud stance. Jim Sysko, an expert snowman builder who helped work on the largest snowman in the world, recommends that you flatten the top of the first ball as well as the top and bottom of the middle ball, making it more stable so Frosty doesn't topple over.  Same goes for your retaining wall, building on top of a properly excavated and compacted base as well as making sure the blocks are level as you build creates the same stability. No one wants their wall or their snowman to lean or topple over!

Unfortunately for your snowman, the first sunny day could find him melting away, but with the snowman principles in place, your retaining wall will be standing proud every season for years to come.

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