Implementing proper design & construction techniques while building retaining walls in the Rochester New York (NY) area is vital as to the lifespan of the wall or the entire retaining wall may need to be repaired, replaced or renovated soon afterwards due to failure. It is imperative to follow correct guidelines of the retaining wall manufacturer during installation to ensure longevity and functionality of the wall.
Retaining wall in need of repair in Pittsford, Monroe County NY.
How To Install A Retaining Wall
Excavate to proper depth, install landscape fabric and correct base material. Level each block side to side & front to back.
The installation requirements for retaining walls in Rochester New York (NY) will vary depending on what type wall block, how high you are going, what is going to be held back or retained and what the area that is retained is going to be used for. The diagram to the left illustrates the excavated area with the first block being leveled. Before we get to this point, it is very important to use a heavy duty landscape fabric in the trenched area so that soil & gravel do not mix. The first block gets leveled front to back and side to side we use a rubber mallet to set it. Also, notice the first block is going to be completely buried and there is approximately 6-8" of gravel under it.
The biggest enemy of retaining walls is water. Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls use a perforated drain pipe (indicated in the illustrations) during installation behind the first layer of block in the retaining wall. This will give water a place to escape and reduce ground pressure on the wall. We use washed crushed stone to back fill around the pipe.
Install drain pipe and backfill retaining wall with washed crushed stone.
Carefully tamp each layer of washed gravel as you build each layer of the retaining wall up, cut & glue caps on final layer.
As the wall is being built, we tamp in the washed gravel. Most retaining walls come with plastic pins that are inserted into each block to help keep it from moving. If the wall is going to be more than two feet in height, we install a poly grid and anchor it down(the horizontal dark lines illustrated to the left). Next, we carefully tamp each layer into place as we build up to the desired height. The final course will need a capstone or decorative block that has a smooth surface area. If there are any curves in the retaining wall, these caps will all need to be cut with a concrete saw. Once all the cap stones are clean and dry, they are glued with construction wall adhesive.
The Renovation Of Retaining Walls In Pittsford New York (NY)
Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls recently renovated and re-installed these retaining walls in Pittsford, New York (NY). Fortunately, we were able to save the original wall blocks and re-use them. Every retaining wall block had to be carefully removed, cleaned and temporarily stored nearby. The hardest part of the cleaning process was to remove all the glue that was used during original construction. Afterwards, the wall foundation was re-excavated, landscape fabric installed and a new gravel base material was installed under the wall. After making sure every block was level from side to side & front to back, the first and most difficult course was laid. A perforated drain pipe was then installed behind the wall to ensure proper drainage and then backfilled with washed gravel.
It is important to use a washed gravel when back filling retaining walls and not crusher run or topsoil for proper drainage. This will reduce the possibility of efflorescence later showing up on the wall (a white powdery scum that can appear on masonry). After carefully cleaning all the retaining wall caps, they were then cut and glued in place for the final layer of the wall. The patio above the wall needed miner repairs and re-leveling. Afterwards, it was power washed and we installed a polymeric sand to keep out weeds and lock the pavers together.
Final Note On Retaining Wall Installation
By following the recommended installation techniques of the retaining wall manufacturer, and using the correct materials during construction, your retaining wall should last for many, many years. If you need help with the repair of an existing wall or the construction of a new retaining wall please contact us.
Have Your Retaining Wall Installed By Professional Contractors Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls - Rochester New York (NY)
Rochester NY’s Trusted Retaining Wall Experts
Looking for Retaining Wall Services or Paver Patio Ideas In Pittsford, Monroe County NY? If you don't see your town below, give us a call 585.442.6373
Acorn Ponds And Waterfalls Service Areas: Rochester, Monroe County, New York, NY, Pittsford, Penfield, Brighton, Fairport, Irondequoit, Perinton, Victor, Mendon, Webster, Greece, Chili, Scottsville, Bushnell's Basin, Rush, Henrietta, North Greece, East Henrietta, West Henrietta, East Rochester, Bloomfield, West Webster, North Gates, Honeoye Falls, Gates Chili, North Chili, Charlotte, Parma, Palmyra, (NY)