Construction of a retaining wall is necessary when a landowner wants to improve his landscape. Retaining walls are constructed either for home improvement or for landscaping. There are various types of retaining walls that can be constructed, including gravity retaining walls, cantilever walls, counterfort walls, anchored retaining walls, and so on. Each of these types has unique advantages and disadvantages. Today we will discuss about the retaining wall for landscape.
After construction, you may notice a lot of deformation or failure cases of these structures. There are certain problems that are related to this, and here, we will explain all of them.
Common Problems Regarding Constructing Retaining Wall
1. Problems in investigation
This is the first problem that can be the reason for future deformation. When the Geotechnical investigation is not conducted properly, and not enough information is available, the wall may collapse. Conducting poor investigation leads to wrong design and calculation. As a result, the base of the wall becomes weaker. At the same time, soil characteristics like bearing strength and bulk density remain unknown as well.
2. Not enough compaction or no foundation treatment
Sometimes due to the lack of sufficient compaction and foundation treatment, the walls get deformed. Compaction increases the bearing capacity of the land and reduces the void spaces. Construction on loose materials leads to deformation quickly.
3. Absence of geotextile or filter material
Many homeowners don’t feel the necessity of using geotextile or a filter material behind the structure. These are called anti-proof sand treatment. Using the native soils directly behind the retaining wall causes swelling and increasing the load on the wall, and sometimes it leads to massive subsidence and results in cracks and deformations.
4. Neglecting the drainage system
Poor drainage system causes a massive landslide by increasing shear stress. Every soil has a shear strength when it is dry. The soil particles attached to each other tightly, which indicates the shear resistance. When water enters between the particles, it acts as a lubricant. As a result, the particles slip over one another collapsing the entire slope. When the drainage system of land is improved, the water can’t stand there, which results in less stress. Homeowners can use sand or gravel particles beneath the wall to improve the draining system and to reduce the capillary pressure. In addition to this, they may introduce perforated pipes beneath the wall, which can enhance the draining capacity.
Sometimes, because of heavy rainfall, a high amount of water pressure can rise behind that wall. This water pressure either pushes the wall or causes cracks. Hardly the retaining walls can stand with the increased pressure of the landmass. This is why the builder should use stones or other coarse materials for backfilling.
Nowadays, engineers have developed more stable and attractive walls for landscape improvement. These walls can be set up in unstable mountainous areas as they are cost-effective and ensure stability to the slope. According to them, these reinforced walls are capable of standing with higher pressure, and many of the mountainous countries and states have already started using these reinforced walls to prevent landslides.