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How to build Stronger Retainer walls


Anyone can build a beautiful retainer wall but it takes deep planning and not to forget the skill to build a wall which can withstand pressure, gravitational force and yet stand still for many decades. We all wish to have this kind of retainer wall. Right?

In this article, you will find all that you wish to know to build a solid base, drainage and the type of materials required for building strong retainer walls in Brisbane.

Trench – deep and wide

A trench should be deep, wide and of course level. Measure the trench first. It should have ample space for the block and have a minimum of 8 in. of space behind it. Dig deep enough to burry a minimum of one full course. This should include a space of 6 to 8 in. of the base material. You must ensure that the trench is level to make an even layer of the base material. This will avert the wall from dipping after  freeze or thaw cycles. A story pole or a laser level can be used to check the depth of the trench.

Compact It

Build a trench with a vibrating plate compactor or a hand tamper. Make sure it is compact enough for strong retainer walls in Brisbane climate. Most of the people do not pay much attention to this step. The hand shovels or the excavator are capable of disturbing and loosening up the top one or two inches of the soil. This is sufficient to make the wall settle down.

Lay the Base

Crushed stones are considered best for the base in place of the gravel taken out of the pit just dug. It may cost you a little more than usual.  Nevertheless, it is best for the drainage purpose. Also, since it has sharp angles on the stone, less compacting is needed. Once compacting is done, it stays in the same way for long. The ideal size for compacting is ½ in. and ¾ in. these can withstand forces generated by the thaw cycles and harsh freeze. Rounded stones such as river rock or pea gravel should be avoided at all costs. They are incapable of forming sturdy interlocking bonds such as angular stone.

The stone should not be left higher than ½ in. than the final height required. Build couple passes with a plate compactor or a hand tamper. No sooner the trench is laid you will notice the stone compacted completely. Same stone should be utilized for backfilling.

The First Course

Make use of torpedo level to level every block from front to back and a 4-6 ft level to keep every course level and even. Use a plastic mallet or heavy rubber to set the blocks. Make sure the first course is flat and the level is extremely vital. Do not rush, take your time. Lay the course closer to the trench as close as possible.

Sweep Well Before You Stack

The smallest of pebble on a block can misalign the block placed above it. And the misaligned one will do that to the one above it. This is the power a little stone holds. It can make the topmost hump look massively unattractive.

Step Up the Hill

If the retainer wall to be built has to run up a hill, then make sure that each and every base is continued into the hill till the top of the second course of wall levels with the grade. Once it is done, start your second base course. Simultaneously, if you have the option, it will be much easier to dig and lay the lower most course before you dig the trench for the next step. This is important if you have to step up multiple times. You can also save some money in this manner and install the most inexpensive color or style that can match the wall style on the bottom course as this cannot be seen. Or, if you are ready to shell out some money, then get professional help for building your retainer walls in Brisbane.

The Drainage Facility

When a few rows are stacked, add rock to backfill the wall so as to match the grade height lying in front of the wall. After this, lay some perforated drain tile above the rock. Add drain tee fittings followed by drain grate after every 25 ft. to 50 ft. on the basis of rainwater expected to flow down the wall. Now remove one block to fill the drain grate. Compress the drain tile parts all together and ensure that they do not fall apart when more rock is used to cover it.

Split the blocks

Use a block splitter if you feel the end of the block will be visible and you are required to match the rough surfaces. You can rent a splitter or get professional to build your retainer walls in Brisbane.

Make a smooth cut on the block with a saw

Mark the cuts with a soapstone pencil

Arrange the joints so that they remain tight

Use stone as you backfill

Align the stones

Leave some space between tiers

To sum up, these were some of the most useful steps to build a strong retainer walls. If this is too bothersome for you, get help of professionals to build your retainer walls in Brisbane.


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