Concrete Retaining Walls

Benefits of Concrete Retaining Walls

Concrete retaining walls are structures that provide lateral support to vertical slopes of soil. Here at Sudbury Concrete Contractors we are experts in building and pouring concrete retaining walls. The construction of a concrete retaining wall requires precise methods in order to securely hold back dirt mass (also called backfill).

There are major benefits to using concrete for your retaining wall. First, concrete is extremely durable and when properly installed, it will ensure a safe and secure retention. Second, concrete it very versatile and can be coloured, textured, or accented with several different designs. This enables us to customize your retaining wall just the way you like it.

Types of Concrete Retaining Walls

Cantilever Retaining Walls

Cantilever retaining walls are constructed of reinforced concrete. It has a thin stem and a base slab. The base consists of two parts: a heel and a toe. The heel is the part of the base that goes under the backfill. The benefit of this type of retaining wall is that it uses much less concrete than other types. However, it does require more design and careful construction. Cantilever retaining walls can be precast in a factory or formed on site and are economical up to 25 feet tall.

Counterfort Retaining Walls

Counterfort retaining walls are quite similar to Cantilever retaining walls. What makes them different is the thin, vertical concrete webs along the back of the wall. It is these thin webs that are known as “counterforts”.

The purpose of the webs is to connect the base and the slab together. They also add reinforcement and weight against the pressure of the soil. Counterforts can be precast or formed on site and are considered more economical than Cantilever retaining walls for heights above 25 feet.

Gravity Poured Concrete Retaining Walls

Gravity poured concrete retaining walls rely completely on their own weight to counter the force of the lateral earth pressure. They are economical up to 10 feet tall. Their size and weight are enough for them to not require extra reinforcement. These concrete retaining walls typically are formed on site.

Semi-Gravity Retaining Walls

Semi-Gravity retaining walls are a blend of the cantilever and gravity poured retaining walls. To minimize the thickness of the wall reinforced steel is included in the construction of these walls. This allows the wall to use its mass along with the steel to counter the lateral earth forces all while having a thinner wall.

The Process of Building Your Concrete Retaining Wall

The first step in getting you the retaining wall that you want is to meet with you. Here at Sudbury Concrete Contractors we prioritize our customers needs and wants for their concrete projects. Once we meet and understand your needs and budget we will come up with a plan. There are several factors that drive the wall type and design of a concrete retaining wall including:

  • Cost
  • Wall height
  • Speed and ease of construction
  • Soil characteristics and groundwater conditions
  • Building codes
  • Site accessibility
  • Aesthetics

All the above factors will be taken into account as we put your plan together. This will allow us to specifically design your concrete retaining wall. Together we will determine the exact shape, size, and placement. Once the plan is approved by you, we can then arrange the excavation and ground work.

Bringing our expertise and experience we remove any trees or plants that are in the way. We then lay out and dig the footings. Next we build the forms and add steel rebar for reinforcement. At this point we are ready to pour the concrete and let it cure. When the concrete is completely cured we add contraction joints.

We then can remove the forms and install waterproofing and drainage systems. To finish off we complete the concrete retaining wall with your desired finish and do any other hardscaping that is required for the property.

With Sudbury Concrete Contractors we can guarantee you will be happy with your retaining wall. We work with an engineer to ensure that the height and thickness of your retaining wall provides the strength to hold back the lateral earth pressure. When built and installed correctly, a retaining wall will no tilt, crack or bow.

Installing Proper Drainage

Proper drainage of rainwater and/or groundwater from the backfill is essential to the stability of the concrete retaining wall. Without proper drainage the retaining wall will experience extra pressure that can seriously damage the retaining wall or even cause it to fail completely. During the construction of your concrete retaining wall we will install drainage through weepholes and drainage lines. Weepholes penetrate the retaining wall and drain the water from directly behind the wall. Drainage lines are buried in a granular filter bed to carry water to the weepholes.

Sudbury Concrete Contractors Are Your Best Choice!

Sudbury Concrete Contractors are your absolute best choice for any of your concrete needs. We bring our expertise, craftsmanship and professionalism to every project we do. Our customers are the most important part of our business so quality and customer service are our highest priorities!

If you have a project in mind please call us at 705-996-4931 or email us at info@sudburyconcretecontractor.ca to get your FREE quote. We look forward to chatting with you about your concrete needs!