Block Retaining Wall

Introduction

Block Retaining Wall Retaining walls are used for a wide variety of purposes. Two main purposes are functional and decorative. Decorative retaining walls can add character whilst enhancing the outdoors of a property. Functional walls are used to tame sloped land, create steps on problem properties, control erosion and provide support for garden and landscaping beds. Retaining walls are typically built from individual blocks and units. They are also made from poured concrete, timber, vinyl and steel.

Blocks made from various materials are more commonly used nowadays due to their ease in installation, variety of shapes and sizes, variety of colors and textures and the wide availability of materials to choose from. Whether the retaining wall is decorative of functional there will be a block retaining wall system to best suit the type of application.

Block Retaining Wall Systems

Wall Blocks Block retaining wall systems are comprised of the following components; block material, engineered design, purpose factor, reinforcement issues, drainage, installation method and height of the wall. All of the mentioned components are planned out generally by homeowners and engineers or designers. Having a proper system in place will result in a successful application which is designed to suit the specific requirements of the application and its surroundings. Systems which are successfully planned will last for many years without and troubles. Regular maintenance of a block retaining wall system will also add many years onto its life value.

Types of Retaining Wall Block Materials

There are a wide variety of materials which are used to produce blocks or units for retaining wall construction. Some blocks are made with the following factors; lightweight, porous, high density, low density and extremely heavy. Materials which are most commonly used to produce blocks are; concrete, stone, natural stone and brick. These materials all range in cost price and some may be more suited to the application than others. Some materials are mainly used for decorative walls whilst others are more suited to functional walls.

These materials are available in a vast and particular range of color, shapes, sizes and textures.

Types of Blocks

Blocks or units designed for retaining walls will vary between manufacturers. There is a wide range of block types which can be installed in many different ways.

Hollow and Half Hollow

Hollow blocks and half hollow blocks are 2 types which are commonly produced by manufacturers and sold by the pallet. These blocks are commonly used for structural retaining walls which require backfill, mortar and reinforcement components. The hollow sides of the block also allows for drainage components to be easily installed.

Solid Blocks

Solid Wall Block Solid blocks are also a common style used for retaining walls. These are solid and squared in shape. They offer standard sizing which is generally determined by manufacturers. They can be installed with mortar or without it. Solid blocks can also be purchased with pre installed reinforcement materials customized to suit the wall requirements.

Interlocking Blocks

Interlocking blocks are another common block type which looks solid in shape although it has an upper lug or a cross on top of the block and an indentation of a cross on the bottom. These blocks are designed to interlock with one and other and fully support the weight of the retaining wall itself. These block types are easily installed and maintained.

Irregular Blocks

Irregular Wall Blocks Irregular blocks are generally quarry cut stones which are not of a typical shape or block size. These can be assembled creatively in a design which is unusual yet unique. They are generally stacked or installed with a mortar depending on their size and shape. No two blocks are the same which when installing is like putting a puzzle together.