Retaining Walls | Midgett Concrete Construction, Inc.
A retaining wall is a boundary marker that prevents soil or other mineral substances from a multiplying in a building or plot. Retaining walls inhibit the creation of down-slope movement or erosion and provide stability for vertical or near-vertical grade slopes. Cofferdams and bulkheads are structures that contain bodies of water, are may also considered retaining walls. Retaining walls are generally made of masonry, stone, brick, concrete, vinyl, steel, or timber. They are popular as an inexpensive sort of boundary creating materials, while railroad ties have decreased in popularity because of environmental issues.
Retaining walls are often used as barriers on beaches because of their ability to contain water. Retaining walls also prevent the earth from eroding and surfaces from collapsing. Retaining walls are integral to creating a stable environment for your yard. They will contain your decorative water systems, as well as creating a sense of stability in your yard.
The most important factor for the best design and installation of retaining walls must be that the constrained material is attempting to progress forward and down slope as a result of gravity. This creates a lateral earth pressure behind the wall, which depends on the angle of internal friction (phi) and the cohesive strength (c) of the retained material, as well as, the direction and magnitude of movement and retaining structure undergoes.
Lateral earth pressures are typically smallest at the top of the wall and increase toward the bottom. It is possible for the earth pressures in action against the retaining wall, to undermine the base of a retaining wall if it is not stably installed. Also, any groundwater behind the wall that is not irrigated through a drainage system can cause an additional horizontal hydrostatic pressure on the wall, which may undermine the integrity of the retaining wall.