September 5, 2014

How Sandcastle Help You Build Stronger Retaining Walls

The sand sculpture festival at Blankenberge
Photograph: PETER DECONINCK/AFP/Getty Images
A day at the beach; the sun, the surf and sandcastles! Picture you and your friends happily digging away creating moats and towers with shovels and buckets, did any of those mounds of sand actually stay standing? Or even resemble a castle? Well unless you were a talented sand sculpture artist; probably not. So what does this have to do with building stronger walls you ask? The answer is simple – compaction and reinforcement.

By compacting, the base are of the sandcastle until it is hard, flat and level, you are creating a strong base for your beach fortress. The same goes for a retaining wall; you must have a solid base that is compacted well to hold the wall. Without a good foundation your wall can sink, sag, tumble, or fall.

Reinforcement is just as important. How many times have you built a sandcastle only to have it topple over or shear in half, thwarting your chances of winning the title of Sand Castle Master? In retaining walls we use a synthetic mesh material called geogrid to reinforce and stabilize the soil and add strength to the wall.  By layering this within the wall and compacting the soil around it, a very strong structure is created. 

But hey, don’t take my word for it – check out this sandcastle video that shows exactly why these two things make all the difference in the world. And read up a bit more on how geogrid works so you are ready for your next retaining wall or that long overdue sandcastle building rematch!

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