Retaining walls are both stunning and useful, and can be a central component of your commercial property. While their chief function is to inhibit the erosion of soil, they can also give beauty to the aesthetics of your outdoor space. If your lot has hills or unusable space, retaining walls can level difficult areas to add purpose and function, and increase the value of your property. They can be constructed in a variety of styles from sloping curves to sturdy wall-like structures.
The Purpose of Retaining Walls
One of the central reasons to build a retaining wall is to prevent erosion. Weather, time, age, and incorrect drainage systems can trigger soil movement. If your property slopes or has unlevel areas, soil can drop or slip from its original position. Moving or settling water significantly affects exposed soil, causing:
Retaining walls inhibit erosion from occurring, by breaking up a long slope into a progression of usable levels. This protects the soil from sitting or streaming water by letting moisture soak into the surface, rather than dragging soil with it during run off.
Helps Manage Drainage
Sloped or uneven lots can create significant drainage problems. Because of uneven terrain, water can collect in areas that can cause damage to grassy areas, and even the foundation of your building. By constructing tiers, supported by retaining walls, water can no longer run down steep slopes, and can be funneled into correct drainage areas. French drains can also be installed to further protect a property with drainage problems.
A properly installed retaining wall includes its own drainage system by constructing, weep holes, and a gravel runnel under or behind the wall. This lets water run off or through the wall and prevents water build-up.
Provide Support and Stability for Structures
A solidly constructed retaining wall keeps the soil in place, as well as any structures that are contingent upon ground stability. Many times, buildings are built on hills and require retaining walls to maintain their structural integrity. Without this ground stability, cracks can appear in your building’s foundation. While normal engineering piers can later be added to correct this issue, they are very expensive and time consuming. A less expensive option is proper maintenance of your retaining wall, and to replace or repair it when signs of wear appear.
Create Usable Lawn Space
Very often, steep or sloped lots provide little to no functional lawn space. This can be frustrating for business owners. Retaining walls are the top solution to break your sloped lot into tiers and allow your property to be more user-friendly and visually pleasing. Layering your lot requires a well thought out design that not only creates a usable slope, but also gives a beautiful appearance to the exterior of your business. Even steeply sloped lots can be leveled into several tiers.
Create Step-Up Planting Areas
Retaining walls also provide the perfect backdrop for flowerbeds, and add shape and dimension to landscaped areas. Most flowerbeds need to be edged in some fashion, and bricks, stones or blocks are an attractive way to achieve this. Border walls keep the mulch and soil in position, as well as allowing preservation of moisture around plants. Short walls are perfect around your building’s perimeter, while taller walls can benefit your steeper terrain. This not only helps with erosion, but allows you to have flowerbeds in difficult areas.
Your choice of materials directly affects the capability of a retaining wall to bear weight. It must be sturdy enough to provide long-term support for soil or structures, as well as allow for proper drainage. Materials used for constructing commercial retaining walls are designed for both visual appeal and function. Typical materials used are:
Your choice of materials should depend on your needed function, intended use and climate. Our commercial experts will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each material, with you.
If your business already has retaining walls and you have noticed leaning, crumbling, buckling or cracking – now is the time to address the issue. Retaining walls are intended to last many years, but several factors can take a toll on your wall, such as:
Our outdoor, commercial experts will examine and appraise your current wall’s capabilities. If they feel that it has a prolonged lifespan, then instead of a complete replacement, repairs can be made. Sometimes, if only specific parts of the wall have deteriorated, then that section can be replaced. Other times, specific boards or blocks can be replaced. The ability to return the wall to its correct position and maintain structural integrity is extremely important in a repair. If the wall cannot fulfill its main purpose, then it may need to be replaced.
When designing your retaining wall, Commercial Remodelers of America will incorporate a comprehensive plan that includes: budget, soil pressure, design, drainage, natural setting and materials. From smaller retaining wall projects, to larger structures, we will create a plan for you that will serve your business for years to come.
Commercial Remodelers of America offers Retaining Walls services for Apartments and Hotels, Builders and Developers, Offices, and Retail and Restaurants.
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