If you're getting ready to build a retaining wall on your property, structural stability is an important consideration. Since retaining walls face the force of shifting soil at some stage, it's in your best interest to reinforce it during construction. If you've decided to install the retaining wall on your own, you'll need to know how to add that reinforcement. Here are some tips to help you construct and reinforce the wall.
Create The Foundation
Determine the path you want the retaining wall to follow and mark it off using stakes and some rope or reflective ribbon. That way, you know where you're working and you don't risk losing track of the path as you go.
Then, dig the foundation space for the wall so that it's a few feet deep and wide enough for a couple of concrete blocks side by side. Work your way down the path you marked to create the space all the way along the path. Then, level out the bottom of the foundation space so that you have a flat surface to work with.
Pour The Footer And Insert The Supports
Mix up some quick-dry concrete and pour it into the bottom of the space you dug. Fill it several inches deep with concrete. Allow it to sit for a few minutes so that it starts to set up. Once it starts setting up a little bit, but before it hardens, insert steel rebar posts into the concrete so that they stand up toward the top of the space. You'll want rebar that's long enough to reach the top of the wall you're planning to build. Also, look for rebar that's thick so that you get lots of support.
Build The Concrete Wall
Use concrete blocks to build the rest of the wall. Place the blocks side by side with the rebar running through the holes in the blocks. Use mortar between the blocks to help hold them together. Then, once the wall is assembled completely, let the mortar dry overnight. When dry, you can pour fresh concrete in the holes where the rebar is. Once you fill those holes, it creates a solid concrete wall with rebar in the center of the concrete filler.
Let the concrete cure for a few days, or according to the instructions on the concrete mix you purchased. If you're not confident doing the work yourself or you're worried about not getting enough reinforcement, talk with a local contractor like Boehm Landscape Inc to have the wall built professionally.