Rock retaining walls are equal parts beautiful and functional. These walls are built to hold back the ground, usually on areas of land with large slopes. A natural rock wall gives a rustic and earthy feel to any landscaping. Here’s what you need to know to help you choose the right type of retaining wall for your needs and tastes.
Dry Stack Stone vs. Mortar Retaining Walls
When you want to add a retaining wall to your landscaping, you need to choose between dry and wet (mortar) stone walls. There’s a simple difference between the two: dry-stack walls don’t have mortar to keep the individual stones together. Instead, these stones rely on gravity to stay together. Let’s break down the two wall types and some of the advantages of each.
Dry Stone Retaining Walls
Dry stone retaining walls go by a variety of names: gravity walls, dry-stack walls, interlocking walls, and more. Because there is no mortar joining the stones together, dry stone walls are much more flexible than their wet counterparts. Water can naturally drain through the wall, and any shifting goes relatively unnoticed. Additionally, you can make repairs to portions of the wall easily.
Mortared Retaining Walls
One advantage of a mortared retaining wall, also known as a wet or concrete retaining wall, is the impeccable finish. All the rocks are joined together to create an eye-catching, smooth surface. Wet retaining walls are often the retaining wall of choice for areas with high traffic. If people are going to walk close to the wall, they might be tempted to pull at the looser stones of a dry-stack stone wall. A mortared wall will keep the stones tightly in place, regardless of passersby.
Three Common Types of Rock Retaining Walls
Regular Rock Retaining Walls
These walls can be built using a variety of different stone types. Some rocks, like granite and limestone, can ensure that your retaining wall lasts for decades or even centuries.
Free-Standing Rock Retaining Walls
Rather than building the retaining wall to an existing hill, free-standing retaining walls are built in an open excavation site. Once the wall is constructed, the soil is backfilled and compacted to create a stable slope.
Large Concrete Block Retaining Walls
Large concrete block retaining walls are a type of mortared retaining wall. To create this wall, you secure very large stones of around the same size with concrete.
Build a Rock Retaining Wall
Building a rock retaining wall can be a rewarding home improvement project. Though doing a DIY retaining wall is possible, it’s daunting to take on by yourself. The rocks are extremely heavy, especially the larger ones at the base of the wall. Additionally, the higher the wall, the more complicated the project will be. A construction or excavation company has the equipment and expertise to build your retaining wall without any strain or hassle on your part. Contact Rock On Walls & Falls to construct a stunning rock retaining wall today!