Do I Need a Canonsburg Retaining Wall
Canonsburg retaining walls are found around many homes, and businesses. There is a good chance you’ve never really noticed them. Though they can be beautiful additions to a property, they serve a fundamental purpose: expanding your useable outdoor living space. A properly-built Canonsburg retaining wall provides extra support for the additional architectural items on your property like your driveway, shed or patio, by preventing the land beneath them from sliding downhill. From a physics perspective, the wall battles the gravitational force of a hill, ensuring that the soil beneath these additions is stable.
Retaining walls installation in Canonsburg provide additional benefits as well. By turning what was once a graded hill into a plateau, you will greatly reduce the water runoff from your home and protect your yard from flooding during heavy rainfall. Instead of running straight down a hill, the flat area breaks the momentum of the running water. Canonsburg retaining walls also provide more usable space around your property, turning what was functionally difficult to use into a flat surface.
Unsure if you need a Canonsburg retaining wall or want to better understand how they’re built?
When do You Need a Retaining Wall?
There are many situation which could call for building a Canonsburg retaining wall. When your western Pennsylvania house sits at the top of a hill, you will not have to worry about flooding, but you may not have much room for outdoor activities. If you build several smaller retaining walls, you can create a few “steps” or terraces on your land to help you maximize the usable flat space on your property. And as we alluded to above, you could also raise a patio with a retaining wall on the edge.
Lets say you have a walk-out basement or want to build a pool. Properties with the former require retaining walls to protect the entrance to the walkout basement. The same applies to a garage entrance that may be under the Canonsburg home. If you plan to install a pool, you’ll need to ensure that the land you build it on is perfectly level. In many instances, it is difficult to find a large-enough and flat-enough space to accommodate an in-ground pool without needing to level the soil. A Canonsburg retaining wall ensures that your land is level and suitable for a pool.
How a Retaining Wall is Built
In order to create a flat surface out of a hill, a contractor needs to install a compacted base material under the wall to provide a level surface to build upon. This is the the red material shown in the figure below, which sits under the first row of wall block.
Next comes the building of the Canonsburg retaining wall itself. In order to build a retaining wall that will last decades, at least 10% of the height of the wall should be buried beneath ground. In order to prevent erosion and protect the wall, drainage stone should be installed at least three-feet behind the wall. It’s important that the excavated slope remains as stable as possible, which guarantees the longevity of the wall. Most importantly, the backfill must be properly compacted with the correct wall materials to keep your home safe and looking great for decades to come.
The Different Types of Retaining Walls and Materials Used
The two most common types of Canonsburg retaining walls are gravity and engineered walls. Gravity walls work by using the weight of a block or stone material to hold the wall together and retain the soil. Engineered walls stabilize soil with Geogrid – a geosynthetic material that’s designed to reinforce soils and hold back the slope of a hill. The outside of an engineered wall is normally finished with a veneer to provide a great lookinh face to the underlying construction project.
From natural stone to concrete, several different materials can be utilized to build different looking and functioning Canonsburg retaining walls.
- Segmental retaining wall blocks are processed with an interlocking system to hold a wall together and fortify its structure.
- Natural stone is typically appropriate for smaller walls and give a natural look. These are some of the most gorgeous stones.
- Wood timbers and railroad ties also provide a natural aesthetic that’s best used to build smaller walls – keeping in mind that wood does not have the longevity of stone and will rot with time.
Before You Make A Decision On Who Is Building Wall For You…
From protecting your home to adding more outdoor livable space, a Canonsburg retaining wall is incredibly valuable to many buildings. But don’t make the mistake of moving forward without first doing some homework.
- First, do some research on your area’s permit process. Building a wall might require you to submit paperwork for approval or a permit. There may also be underground utilities below your home that your municipality has records of.
- Second, you need to learn your area’s engineering requirements. For example, some cities requires you to produce a stamped drawing from a licensed engineer before building anything over 36 inches.
- Lastly, beyond getting approved, you also need to have a thorough understanding of what it will take to install a retaining wall. Additional necessities such as guardrails may affect your budget.
If this process seems a little daunting, you can always reach out to our experts for advice or have us give you an estimate to do the work for you. If you’re looking for a retaining wall contractor Canonsburg to help, Ski’s Landscaping is one of the only Canonsburg Landscaping Company’s that is both ICPI & NCMA Certified.