Retaining wall is a structure that is built or designed to provide lateral support to vertical slopes of soil. Besides soil, the lateral pressure can be caused due to waterlogged, earth filling or any granular material jam-packed behind the wall after the construction. These walls are generally constructed in form of dams, hill roads, wing walls of bridges, abutments and so on. The height of the wall and the material to be used depends solely on the site requirements.
One of the major functions of retaining wall is to hold back the earth without facing any issues like sliding, structure failure and upending. These problems may arise if the earth pressure is too high to get stabilized and it may tip over. Even people can also design these retaining walls adjacent to their boundary walls because these walls will protect their property from soil and water damages.
How Would You Structure the Retaining Walls?
The construction of retaining walls is not enough. The stability must also be checked multiple times. Few points must be considered are:
- The structure should be capable to resist the lateral pressure, when applied.
- The wall should be properly balanced and not get overturned.
- Some ooze holes must be provided to relieve the water pressure.
- Long retaining walls should have expansion joints positioned at 6 to 9 meters apart.
- The weight of wall along with the earth pressure should not strain over the foundation.
Different Types of Retaining Walls:
Generally, there are four types of retaining walls, which are as follows:
#1. Gravity retaining wall: This is a huge retaining wall, which stands up on its own weight, that’s why it is called as gravity retaining wall. It is very important to test the overturning, sliding and bearing forces of the wall. These types of walls are generally made on the dams or dikes.
#2. Pile retaining wall: These types of retaining walls are strong and are driven deep into the earth. The piles are so deep that the lateral pressure is held back. The counter force is used to disaffirm the lateral pressure, and the piled walls provide retaining components and toughness to the structure
#3. Cantilever retaining walls: The retaining wall is made up of reinforced concrete. Structure of the wall consists of a base slab and a thin stem. The base slab has two parts, i.e., the heel and the toe. This type of wall requires a cautious design and construction. It uses very less concrete for building the retaining wall and the maximum height is till 25 feet.
#4. Anchored retaining walls: These walls are also called as the tiebacks. The cable wires or rods are drilled deep into the earth and the ends are filled with concrete, which provide an anchor to the walls. This wall sis usually built when the space in limited or narrow. These types of walls are mostly engaged in highway construction departments where walls resist to keep the rocks from falling down on the roads.
Use of Retaining Walls:
Retaining walls are mainly used to hold back the earth components from sliding down. There are many reasons to construct retaining walls and some of them are stated below:
#1. Prevents Soil Erosion: These walls prevent the earth soil to get eroded from the property or surroundings. Soil erosion mostly occurs from rainwater or irrigation activities.
#2. Stabilizes Slopes: The retaining walls are built on the landscapes to reallocate and adjust the lateral pressure, which results in soil retention.
#3. Visual Interest: this usage is more related to the aesthetic view, which is helps to hold back the earth. This also provides an attractive landscape design to the highways or roadways.
The above information helps you to understand the purpose and significance of constructing a retaining wall.