October 19, 2015
Retaining walls can provide both practical and aesthetic value to an Ann Arbor MI home. Not only can they beautify and protect your landscaping, they are also able to increase your home’s value. However, in order for a homeowner to get these benefits, their retaining wall will have to be properly designed and installed. These walls are essential for properties located on hills and slopes. A homeowner who sees the need for a retaining wall will need to hire an experienced landscaping contractor to ensure that it is securely installed.
Here are some of the ways that a retaining wall can be beneficial for a lawn in Ann Arbor MI:
1. They Help to Create Flat Space
If a part of your yard is elevated and you would like to turn it into a flat space, a retaining wall can help you to do this. They can be used in flat areas of your yard as well, but are most important effective for dealing with slopes and inclines where drainage is an issue. With a retaining wall in place, you will not have to be concerned about flooding or erosion in your garden or lawn.
2. They Can Be Attractive
It is well known that hardscapes can be extremely attractive features that add to a homeowner’s enjoyment of their property. Elements like patios, walkways and retaining walls fall into this category.
3. They Can Help With the Management of Water Runoff
A retaining wall can help to slow the speed and flow of rainwater as it runs off. This can help to protect your lawn and garden from being damaged by torrents of water. Retaining walls can help to control the flow of water by diverting it to the location that you desire.
4. Multiple Design Options
There are different design options for this kind of wall. The most common ones are:
• Gravity Walls
These are thicker at the base than at the top and lean back at the top. This kind of retaining wall leans back against the materials that it is retaining.
• Cantilever Walls
These single-layered walls are the same thickness throughout and have a base that is connected to a slab. Cantilever walls require steel reinforcement in both the base and slab. The steel extends from the base to the slab so that the wall works as a cohesive unit. In this design, the base is extremely important and must be designed in such a way that it allows the wall to resist the pressure of the earth.
• Sheet Pile Walls
These use planks that are pushed into the soil and that are supported by it on both sides. The planks may be made of different materials such as steel, wood or vinyl. In some cases, this type of wall will be anchored with a cable. Having a landscaping company handle the installation will ensure that a sheetpile wall is able to handle the pressure from the earth that it is retaining. Typically, this kind of retaining wall is used on softer soils.
• Anchored Walls
These walls use cables to enhance the strength of the wall, similar to sheet pile walls. The cables are used to connect the top and the base and have anchors attached to them. The anchors are expanded in the ground.
• Counterfort (or Buttress) Walls
This kind of wall has vertical concrete webs that are installed along the wall’s rear side. They tie the slab and the base together to lower shear forces and the bending movements caused by the soil.
5. Maintenance is Easy
Because of the materials used in its construction, a retaining wall requires relatively little maintenance. These walls are often made of stone or other natural mineral products. Aside from stone, other materials commonly used include wood that has been treated to resist moisture.
Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at https://www.twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.
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