A retaining wall is a kind of wall that is specifically constructed to assist in keeping soil or water in one place, and also helps in resisting soil erosion in a certain property. This kind of wall can be built in any establishment, whether it is for your residential, commercial, or industrial property.
Aside from its main function to “retain” soil, there are many advantages that come with having one installed in your area, such as controlling flooding, making your property more eye-catching, and it can also be used as a boundary between your property and your neighbors’.
Retaining walls are indeed beneficial to the owner who has one in their property due to a variety of reasons, but as mentioned above, they are mainly used to retain soil and keep it from being washed out. Because of this, people who want to have a retaining wall constructed in their property are continuously on the hunt to find the strongest retaining wall available.
Which type of retaining wall is the strongest?
When a retaining wall will be constructed in an area where it is expected to have to carry a heavy load of soil, it is important to know which type of wall will suit the client’s preference and need. In the event that a client has already decided to have one installed, they will obviously want one that will last longer and will do its function properly.
There are many types of retaining walls that can be constructed on your property. According to many professionals in the trade, the Anchored Retaining Wall is the most durable one. However, for us to understand why it is the strongest, let’s have a look at the different types of retaining walls and what their weaknesses are.
What are the different types of retaining walls?
There are four main types of retaining walls. These are the gravity, pile, cantilever, and anchored retaining wall. Let us go in-depth about each type of retaining wall and know more about important details and information such as what it looks like, how it differs from other types of walls, and its weakness.
- Gravity Retaining Wall
The gravity retaining wall is one of the most popular types of retaining walls that are constructed in residential homes. Also called as the “standard” variant amongst other retaining walls, it is the safest and the easiest kind that can be constructed, and is also considered the cheapest. They are usually used for gardening and landscaping purposes.
What it looks like: A gravity retaining wall is usually constructed to only reach the height of 4 feet, but this can change depending on the client’s request and the material that will be used. The appearance of a gravity wall is considered simple and basic, and can be made as straight or curved.
How it is different from other walls: How a gravity retaining wall functions can be inferred from what it is called. This type of retaining wall relies on its own properties – such as its mass, for it to be able to keep its structure.
Weaknesses: Because gravity retaining walls do not have additional support aside from the structure of the wall itself, they can only be installed in places where they will not be expected to carry heavier amounts of soil, and are often just used for decoration.
Strengths: Gravity retaining walls are easy to build and are very cost-effective. If you do not need a wall to support heavy loads, using a gravity retaining wall will be sufficient.
Material that is commonly used to construct it: Stone and concrete
- Pile Retaining Wall
Also called a piling wall, this type of retaining wall is constructed and driven deep under the soil and extends at a height way above the ground. They can either be used as a temporary or permanent retaining wall, and are mostly used in construction sites.
What it looks like: Just like a gravity retaining wall, piling walls are often installed in a straight line, but are taller and are usually more durable.
How it is different from other walls: Piling walls are very convenient and can be made using different materials that will fit its use. For example, if a piling wall is constructed as a temporary retaining wall, a metal sheet can be used so that it can be easily removed later on.
Weaknesses: Just like a gravity wall, a simple pile retaining wall does not usually have additional support, and can easily fail.
Strengths: Piling walls are easy and quick to construct, convenient, and also cost-effective.
- Cantilever Retaining Wall
Also called a reinforced wall, this type of retaining wall is constructed using two parts, a basic gravity wall as its “stem” and a base called the “slab” to support it.
What it looks like: Cantilevers can be described as retaining walls that are built just like the L-shape.
How it is different from other walls: A cantilever retaining wall is usually more stable and durable when compared to the gravity and piling retaining walls, and can reach around 25 feet.
Weaknesses: Building a cantilever retaining wall must be done by a professional. In most cases, a structural engineer will be required to plan its design.
Strengths: Cantilevered retaining walls are very durable and are truly worth the price.
- Anchored Retaining Wall
Anchored retaining walls are considered the strongest type of retaining wall.
What it looks like: Anchored retaining walls appear just like a basic retaining wall, but they are supported by a cable or strip that are used its support.
How it is different from other walls: Anchored walls are capable of supporting tons and tons of soil.
Weaknesses: It can take a couple of days and even weeks to construct, and should only be designed by a licensed professional.
Strengths: This type of retaining wall is very durable and can even be used in areas that are extremely sloped.