August 26, 2016

Retaining Wall Planning for All Seasons

While it is hot outside now and snow is the last thing on our minds, it is important to consider when designing retaining walls in areas where the beautiful white flakes fall. For those of us this live in areas where snow is a part of winter life, one must consider the plowing process and understand where snow may be dumped on a site.  Even though it is seasonal, the wall design may need to account for additional weight of large piles of snow, which can add significant weight to the wall as well as the future water (snow melt) that will occur to ensure they do not cause the wall to fail. 

Snow, just as a pool, driveway, parking lot and many other items may act as a surcharge (or load) on a retaining wall that sits below it.  When the wall is below a parking lot or drive, the placement of snow is often times the last thing anyone considers.  

Asking the question about the placement of snow and potentially designing for the surcharge may be the best route.  Educating the owners on the negatives of placing large piles of snow on top of a retaining wall is a great practice as well.  If you have any questions as you design your segmental retaining wall, please feel free to call us at any time.

Allan Block Corp.
(800) 899-5309

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