Building and Maintaing Retaining Walls in Long Island

Retaining walls can add beauty to a landscape by separating a garden from the remainder of the yard, or they can add function by correcting a sloped yard, or leveling a site for a building. No matter what the reason, a well built retaining wall can be both functional and beautiful.


Retaining Walls in Long Island can be built from many materials such as wood, stone, concrete, or railway ties. Before beginning to build the wall, measure the area in order to identify the appropriate amount of building material needed to fill the space. Grade the area and dig a level trench approximately 1/10 the final height of the wall.


The height of the wall is determined by the amount of dirt to be retained. To build the wall start with a solid base. For a short wall, 3 feet or less, place a light layer of sand or stone dust in the trench before putting the first layer of the wall material; for a larger wall the first layer will need to be concrete. After layering the gravel or concrete begin layering the stone, wood, or whichever material was chosen for building the wall. Compact the soil behind each layer; this is the back-fill and can help prevent water from seeping behind the wall. Repeat until the wall is the desired height.


After construction there is not much maintenance required for the wall, however as with any structure, there is a need to watch for cracks or crumbling. In some cases the wall may begin to shift or slide down the hill. The back-fill behind the wall can become compacted. To avoid this use gravity and step back blocks and timbers or use blocks with lips. In some cases water may gather behind the wall, adding pipes to ensure proper drainage will help to avoid this problem.


For walls made with wood adding a protectant, to prevent water damage, and an insecticide can help prolong the life of the wall. Occasionally some of the compacted dirt may fall causing a low spot, watch for these and fill them with mulch or sod. Pull any weeds that grow between stones or blocks.
Following these guidelines can help ensure a long life on building and maintaining Retaining Walls in Long Island that can add value and beauty to any property.

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