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Remodeling and Home Design

Tim Wheeler Masonry Construction, Stone - Cast, Seattle, WA


Licensed | Bonded | Insured

TIMWHC*955KD


Tim Wheeler

Seattles Best Masonry

Retaining Walls Seattle

Concrete Retaining Wall SeattleThe key to building a sound Retaining Wall, is in the way that it is constructed  Not all Retaining Walls are built the same, the higher that you build them the stronger they need to be.  Of the many different material that Retaining Walls can be made of, Concrete is the strongest way to build a Retaining Wall. To prove that think about what it takes to build a Dam, some of which are hundreds of feet high. Not many of us are going to build a Dam but the same principle apply. When you build a Retaining Wall the last thing that you want it to do is fall and tip over.  If you want to build a Concrete Retaining Wall it has to have a proper Foundation to rest on, a good rule of thumb for building a foundation is that it should be at least 8'' thick and 1/2 as wide as the wall is tall.  This means that if your Retaining Wall is 6' tall it would need to have a  footing of Concrete to rest on that would be 8'' inches deep and 3' Feet wide.  Start by digging a trench into the ground that is approximately 6'' inches wider then the Foundation is wide, next build a form to hold the concrete in place.  Place a minimum two number 5/8 rebar down the length of the Foundation, tie upright rebar on 2' feet center to the rebar that runs horizontal in the Footing, make sure to bring the upright rebar up and out of the footing approximately 1' foot from the front of the Retaining Wall.  Never place the Retaining wall to the back side or center of the Footing, always place the Concrete Retaining Wall to the front of the Foundation.  In this way you create a balance of pressure as the dirt or back fill presses outward on the Retaining Wall it also pulls it back as it presses down on the back side of the footing.

In the Seattle area we get quite a bit of Water that get into the ground and this can cause trouble for even the strongest of Retaining Walls. For this reason a good water release system is needed to reduce the hydrostatic pressure on the backside of the Retaining Wall.  The best way to do this is to create a trench in the backside of the Retaining Wall, place a drain pipe slightly above the footing and fill the trench with gravel after filling the trench with gravel place a filter fabric over the gravel filled trench.  This will keep the dirt from filtering down through the gravel and clogging the drainpipe, letting the water run down the drainpipe and out the end of the Wall. This system should be used if your Retaining Wall is 4' feet high or higher, if there is extra ground water i will use this system on even lower Retaining Walls. One other way to release water from behind a shorter Retaining Wall is to follow the first two steps of creating a trench and filling it with gravel but don't put in a drain pipe, instead drill or leave small holes through the base of the Retaining Wall this will slowly release any water that is behind the Wall. No matter which method you chose a Fabric Filter should always be used over the gravel behind the Retaining Wall, this will keep the dirt out of the drain System and let the water flow out from behind the Wall. Now you can fill over the gravel with top soil and conceal the drain system.

Not all Concrete Retaining Walls have to look like stark dull gray walls as a Retaining Wall Contractor in the Seattle area we have built many Concrete Retaining Walls that are beautiful to look at, and are a asset to the landscape that they hold in place. One such way is to acid stain the outer side of the Concrete Wall with a blend of color acid stain, this create a pattern that will blend in with the landscape rather then stick out like a big gray Wall.  A coat of Stucco can also be applied over a Concrete Retaining Wall to create not only colors but also different types of textures. Cultured Stone can be used to beautify any Concrete Wall, this can make any Wall look and feel like a beautiful Stone wall in the landscape.  If you have any area that need to be retained, a Concrete Retaining Wall is an excellent way of doing it with little or no maintenance, and if you have any area that need to be repaired there are many ways to make it look like new without even replacing the existing Concrete.  Please visit our beautiful Picture Gallery to view some of our Retaining Wall projects

 

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