Retaining wall upkeep

Retaining wall upkeep

Retaining walls should be built to last a long time, but mistakes and Mother Nature can cause them to need repairs.

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September 21, 2018

A popular feature to level out backyards, prevent erosion and hold up different structures, retaining walls are meant to last a long time, adding space and visual interest to landscapes.

“Installing new walls can create more usable space in the yard,” says Jake Green, owner of Complete Hardscapes. “A lot of areas that I work in have very steep backyards and are completely unusable. A lot of times, I’m installing a wall so (the customer) can have a swing set, pool or a patio on top of it.”

Green has also installed walls to prevent erosion and as guard walls to keep water away from the house. Some of the walls that Green has installed are 2 to 4 feet tall, what Green calls “sitting wall height.”

Adam Callison, owner of Done Right Landscapes, installs walls for very similar reasons. In addition to creating more usable space in a backyard, he has installed retaining walls as garden features.

“We do what we call guard walls in the front of house, decorative maybe to hold up the front landscape bed,” Callison says.

Callison has also seen people add landscape lighting to highlight walls at night. Normally when it comes to specific features, his clients leave the design up to him. But if clients do have a specific design or feature in mind, Callison follows it to the best of his abilities.

Unlike Green’s business, Done Right Landscapes doesn’t actively market retaining wall repairs, but they get a lot of people calling for repair work anyway.

While retaining walls are meant to last a long time, there are things that can lead to their deterioration over time. A lot of the repair work Callison ends up doing is rebuilding older walls.

Read the full story from our September issue here.