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Retaining Walls

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

Prevent Erosion

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:

  • Trees to fall or slide
  • Structural issues
  • Gaps or low pockets
  • Unusable property space
  • Failure for grass to grow in specific areas
  • Exposure of utility lines
  • Exposure of sprinkler lines and heads
  • Fences to lean or fall

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.

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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.

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Material Choices

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:

  • Brick
  • Natural stone
  • Wood timbers
  • Concrete
  • Blocks
  • Boulders

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.

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Retaining Wall Replacement or Repair

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:

  • Age – The age of your retaining wall plays a major factor. Weather and time can cause it to crumble and lean, especially if it is constructed of wood. Wood can decay from the inside, giving the illusion that the beams are still in suitable shape. Insects can also eat away at the center of the wood.
  • Weather – Retaining walls endure a great deal of mistreatment from the weather. Constant contracting and swelling from extreme heat or cold can also reduce your wall’s lifespan. Wood walls can dry out and bleach over time.
  • Poor quality workmanship – If your wall has not been constructed correctly, then it’s lifespan and integrity was in jeopardy from day one. It is important, especially if your wall is taller than four feet high, that highly qualified installers plan and perform the install. Lack of appropriate technique and fortification can significantly reduce your walls capability to support and withstand pressure from soil and water.
  • Incorrect drainage – Retaining walls can help or inhibit your lot’s drainage, depending on if it was constructed properly. Walls should have weep holes to let water seep through, thereby reducing force. If water does not have a functional outlet, then it can add pressure to the strength of the wall. As time passes, this can cause the wall to lose its footing. Gravel lines can also be burrowed behind or beneath the wall to help water drain away from the wall.
  • Low-grade materials – Weak, or cheap materials will negatively impact your wall’s ability to withstand time and weather. Stone or concrete walls can begin to crumble and lean, while wood will rot and split. Inferior mortar can also impede the walls ability to hold its shape.

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.

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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.

Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your design and construction options.

Retaining Walls Services

Commercial Remodelers of America offers Retaining Walls services for Apartments and Hotels, Builders and Developers, Offices, and Retail and Restaurants.

ABOUT COMMERCIAL REMODELERS OF AMERICA

We appreciate you visiting our website and getting to know us. Our number one priority is earning your trust and your business, and we do that by using top quality materials, expert craftsmen, competitive prices, and Oklahoma specific experience. We value our customers and would love to visit with you about your next commercial project.

 

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