Does My Property Need a Retaining Wall?

stone retaining wall on a homeowner's propertyRetaining walls are found on residential, commercial, and industrial properties alike. And while they can be beautiful additions to a landscape, they often exist to serve a fundamental purpose rather than just be aesthetically pleasing. So, what is a retaining wall good for, and how do you know if your property needs one? 

What is the Purpose of a Retaining Wall?  

As their name suggests, retaining walls are specially built walls designed to prevent soil erosion and flooding on a property by keeping the soil behind them from moving (i.e., retention) and providing proper drainage. Essentially offsetting the lateral slope of a natural landscape, this extra support helps avoid a downhill shift of land. But these walls have other purposes as well, including: 

  • Managing Water Runoff – Retaining walls slow and direct the flow of rainwater. In addition to preventing washouts of the landscape, this helps keep gardens and lawns in the best condition possible. 
  • Expanding Level Space – Retaining walls expand a property’s surface space by creating terraces on natural slopes. Having more level space on a property makes landscaping easier and allows for the planting of shrubbery, trees, or gardens, further helping to hold soil in place with their roots. 
  • Creating More Seating & Entertainment Room – Retaining walls can create more usable space for outdoor living. Depending on where the wall is located, it could be a prime place for people to gather on your property, adding more seating.  

Signs You Need a Retaining Wall  

In some cases, retaining walls are installed to add value to a property, providing depth and verticality, terraced views, and beautiful stonework. In other cases, a retaining wall is an absolute necessity for the property. Here are some tell-tale signs: 

Downhill Erosion  

Again, the most common reason for retaining wall installation is to manage and prevent erosion. If rock and soil are washing downhill into your property—whether it’s coming from your own property or a neighboring yard—a retaining wall will create a barrier that this material can’t pass through or over.  

Foundation Problems 

If you notice soil and water washing up to your home’s or building’s foundation, your property’s stability may be in jeopardy. With an influx of erosion material up against it, water may eventually leak through the foundation.  

Flood-Prone Areas 

Is your property located in a flood-prone area? Constructed with drainage stone designed to prevent water buildup, a retaining wall would mitigate the risk of floods damaging your home or building.  

Whether it’s a want or a need for your property, Dolan Landscaping can assess your situation and install the retaining wall that’s right for you. Want to learn more about how hardscaping projects like this one can improve your landscape and solve property issues? Contact us today to explore all our landscaping construction options.