To save on the cost of purchasing new materials to construct a new building, you can perform the following to your wall:
First, bury the bottom course, or courses, of the retaining wall one tenth the height of the wall. This will prevent the soil behind from pushing the bottom out.
Secondly, step back the blocks, rocks or timbers. Do this in line with the direction of the gravitational force. This lets the walls lean and push against the fill. Most concrete retaining wall block systems have some kind of built-in lip or pin system that automatically creates the step back as you build.
Finally, install a base of solidly compacted material. This ensure that the wall stays flat. A level wall provides modular blocks, stone and timbers with more surface contact with the courses above and below them. They fit together more tightly. The more contact, the more friction and the stronger the wall.
If you apply these three rules, you will be able to create a strong wall. But even a well built wall won’t survive unless you take care of two troublemakers: water and uncompacted soil.
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