Do retaining walls need drainage?


If your home has retaining walls, it needs a drainage system. A retaining wall drainage system prevents water buildup from occurring behind the wall, which can cause hydrostatic pressure. Subsequently, hydrostatic pressure may lead to numerous problems, including structural issues.

A drainage system alleviates hydrostatic pressure, giving the water a release so that it does not build behind the retaining wall. When the water escapes, problems that would otherwise occur no longer threaten your home.

After drainage system installation, you enjoy peace of mind at your home day in and day out. Read below if you want to know more about a drainage system and how it protects your retaining wall.

Cost of Retaining Wall Installation in Denver, CO.

Homeowners retain their walls for different purposes. But for most people in Denver, CO, retaining walls can present a unique way for eye aesthetics. Besides captivating functions, they will also add value to your property and they are usually made from affordable, high-quality materials.

Typically, you can retain walls in Denver, CO to increase your home’s value, and they are earth-friendly, durable, and are available in several designs that can match each homeowner’s specific needs. Apart from the rock types and other materials to make retaining walls, other methods are also available to construct your retaining wall. You can stone-filled mesh fit a gabion wall shape, a traditional stone-and-mortar wall, or a dry stack wall that is constructed from stones but without a mortar and can be moved.

In Denver, the cost of retaining and maintaining walls can be significantly low. After constructing your desire, you don’t have to worry about keeping it up, only that if you create a dry wall and plan to shift the stones around from time to time. The good thing about retaining walls in Denver is that they are efficient, and if created accordingly, they can withstand a substantial amount of weight. Additionally, retaining a wall can help to hold back water or soil for several years without need for maintenance. In most cases, retaining walls crafted from sustainable materials are affordable, attractive and long-lasting just like standard walls.

Why Your Retaining Wall Needs a Drainage System

Every retaining wall needs a drainage system. It allows water to drain from behind the wall so the structure is not damaged. The more pressure placed on the retaining wall, the greater risk of problems. That is why a drainage system is so important.

A drainage system effectively prevents issues including:

  • Prevents Hydrostatic Pressure: Hydrostatic pressure can do a number to your retaining wall. Over time, pressure from water pushing against the wall can lead to building walls, cracks, and collapse.
  • Prevents Water Damage: Mold, mildew, and moisture-related issues affect your home and the people living in the household. Without a drainage system protecting your home's retaining walls, these issues may very well impact your life.
  • Prevents Erosion: Wall erosion can lead to structural instability and shifting. If you do not include a drainage system, excess water can erode and become your worst nightmare.

Peace of mind and cost savings are additional benefits enjoyed after drainage system installation.

Materials and Systems for Drainage

Your drainage system consists of several different materials and components that work together to cease retaining wall damage, including:

  • Weep Holes: Small openings placed along the base of a retaining wall that allows water to escape.
  • Gravel Backfill: Gravel is placed by a retaining wall to help water drain freely through the soil and into the ground.
  • Perforated Pipes: Perforated pipes are installed as a means to collect rainwater and push it away from the retaining wall. The pipes usually are surrounded by gravel to hold them steady in place.

Where You Can Look For Drainage

Now that you better understand the importance of a drainage system for your retaining walls, it's essential that you know where to look for drainage system solutions. Several options are available, including:

  • Online Information: For the DIY'ers of the world, the internet provides a plethora of information regarding drainage systems, installation steps, and other important information. Use a variety of trusted sources to learn more about drainage systems, its components, and other important information.
  • Home Improvement Stores: Local home improvement stores offer all the items needed to install a drainage system behind your retaining wall. Many people enjoy shopping at home improvement stores because they often provide personalized attention. It feels as if you are shopping with a friend. Professionals working inside the stores may even provide answers to some of your building questions.
  • Consult With a Professional: We recommend consulting a professional for information about drainage system installation. Professionals understand retaining wall drainage systems, the installation process, and how to do things quickly and correctly.

What Happens if There Is No Retaining Wall Drainage?

Maybe your retaining walls look perfect right now. You do not see any damage, and the entire space looks wonderful. That is subject to change at any second and certainly will in time if you are neglectful.

The last problems you want are those caused by retaining wall neglect. Eventually, damages can affect the structure of your home, cause erosion and water damage, and require professional repair. We all know professional repairs can easily cost hundreds to thousands of dollars for even the simplest problems.

A drainage system in place further prevents the risk of damage to your retaining wall. It adds an added layer of protection and ensures that it's never neglected even when you cannot personally devote your time to draining the water.

Potential problems that occur if you neglect your retaining wall include structural damage, erosion, and water damage. We discussed those issues a bit above, so you know they are not issues that you want to deal with.

A drainage system is valuable for every home that has a retaining wall in place. Understanding the risk of damage without a drainage system can help you take the first step and explore the options available to protect your retaining walls. Reach out to our professionals today for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best backfill material for retaining walls is generally a well-graded, crushed stone or gravel. This type of material offers superior drainage, which is crucial behind a retaining wall to prevent hydrostatic pressure buildup. The angular shape of crushed stone also helps it lock together for stability.

You should avoid using backfill materials like clay or organic soils. These materials hold water, increasing pressure on the wall and potentially leading to failure. Additionally, smooth stones like river rock aren't ideal as they don't compact well.

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