July 7, 2017
Just like everything else in your yard, a retaining wall or boulder wall needs to be maintained and cared for. Sloped yards can be difficult to manage, which is why many people choose to have a rock wall installed. Rock walls create flat areas of the yard where there previously was a steep hill. Your yard is beautified and easier to mow when you have professionals install a wall like this. After the wall is completed, there are important aspects to keep in mind that go towards maintaining your wall so your newly built structure can remain in good condition.
After the wall is installed, there are large amounts of backfill that are placed behind and sometimes below the wall. This backfill is often compacted during construction. It’s common for extra settling to take place after the wall is newly installed. Closely inspect your wall every spring, and look for low spots and areas that have settled. Areas that settle too much can collect water. Over time water logs your soil composition and it becomes too soft. If you do notice low spots, pull back the sod to even it out, and add backfill as necessary for proper drainage.
After the wall is completed, landscapers will often treat the ground surrounding the wall, particularly areas that were disturbed during construction, to encourage proper rainwater drainage. Surface treatments could include planting new grass, paving, plants, mulch, or another type of ground cover. When spring arrives, it’s important to inspect these areas where surface treatments have been applied, because sometimes, they can become altered or damaged during weather events in the fall and winter. Things to look for include bare ground spots and low areas. New grass can be planted in bare spots, and mulch should be added, as well, to encourage full ground cover and proper water drainage routes.
Manage unwanted weed growth through cracks and crevices in your retaining wall by spraying every year as you would the grass or just pull them out by hand as you see them. Preventing weed growth goes a long way towards keeping your yard neat, trimmed, and presentable.
During winter weather, especially in Northern areas of the United States, avoid using salt or ice formation preventatives as much as possible. Although particular kinds of rocks and blocks are meant to resist the effects of harsh weather conditions, especially rain and snow, using salt or other chemicals around or near your retaining wall will cause damage to the rocks’ surfaces, including pock marks or nicks. Erosion of your wall’s components can cause greater damage in the long run and compromise the integrity of the structure.
Maintaining your newly built rock wall is simple when you take the necessary steps. When you care for it properly, you can enjoy its natural beauty for many years in the future.
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