Before building any type of wall, you need to consider numerous factors. For example, you need to know which type of wall will best suit your project. Additionally, you must consider where you will install the wall. This will help you plan the design and structure of the wall to prevent damage. Find out the rest of the considerations you need to make when choosing to build a wall on your property.
Check the area where you will construct the wall. Is there a slope? Do you need to carve out the land from the hillside to pave the way for the wall construction? How about the drainage pattern in the area? Will the new wall affect how water gets drained from the site? Additionally, the wall shouldn’t encroach on your neighbour’s property.
Type of soil
The soil serves as the base for the wall, so it’s crucial to check its composition before you start your project. It’s essential to determine the bearing capacity, friction angle, stress parameters and soil type.
The base should have low moisture content. Wet soil can cause structural issues, most especially during winter. Water found in the soil expands when the temperature drops. This can cause cracks and other forms of damages to the wall.
Hence, it’s not ideal to use poorly draining soil types such as clay. Instead, you should find a firm and solid base so it can provide ample support for the precast retaining wall you will build.
Find out the natural flow of water on the site. Will the new wall affect the drainage? Will the natural flow of water cause potential structural problems to your retaining wall? Carefully plan how to get rid of water accumulating behind your retaining wall. Otherwise, water molecules will seep in the structure and cause it to deteriorate faster than the usual rate. You can install drainage solutions such as weep holes or drain pipes to ensure that water doesn’t accumulate behind the structure. You can also construct drainage systems that can redirect the water flow.
When planning the wall design, take into consideration the specifications of the area, such as the setback angles, site elevation, slopes, and footprint sizes. You must also look into the effects of gravity, especially if your construction site is located in an elevated area. You can add supporting structures such as geosynthetics and steel to reinforce the wall, especially those built on a sloping project site. Supporting structures can help counter the effect of gravity.
Selecting the perfect wall
After checking the factors enumerated above, you can start planning which type of wall you can construct on your project site. Some of the most common types of walls you can choose from include counterfort walls, gabion mesh walls, retaining walls, cantilevered walls, and gravity walls. Take note of the features of each wall type to ensure that you select the right option. You can also consult with your contractor or architect to find the most suitable option for your project goals and budget.