[Posted on October 5th, 2014 by Aaron Presley]
The main purpose of bulkhead material is to prevent soil erosion, especially along the edges of rivers and other waterways. Yet homeowners have also used such materials for retaining walls in their backyards. For homes built on the slope of a hill, rain water can erode the soil and send it rolling down. If a large enough mass of soil loosens, it can cause damage to the backyard and the structure of the home. The retaining wall prevents the soil from shifting downward. Yet there are many things to consider when building a retaining wall, such as drainage, foundation stability and appearance.
There is no point in building a retaining wall on unstable ground. If enough soil and water builds up on the other side, the entire wall will come crashing down. This situation can pose a danger to anyone who is near it. A retaining wall should be built on a compacted sub-base of either soil or gravel for walls made out of stone or brick. When you are using wood bulkhead material, you can anchor stanchions into a concrete footing or place timbers on a solid foundation base and drive reinforced steel rods through the timbers.
Retaining walls are only meant to keep the soil in place, not to dam the water that runs down the slope. If enough water gets trapped behind the wall, the pressure will force the bulkhead material down. Always plan out the drainage before constructing the retaining wall. You can either place in a gravel backfill or drainage pipes to redirect the water. Weep holes may also be placed into the wall to allow water to pass through to the other side.
You don’t have to deal with an ugly retaining wall marring the beauty of your backyard. You can use all types of materials for your retaining wall. If you are considering using wood, you may want to match the style with existing wood structures in the yard, such as arbors or decks made out of Fiberon decking. Then you will have a functional retaining wall that will complement the beauty of your property.
If you are looking for materials to build your retaining wall, call Bayou City Lumber. We have the perfect materials to create bulkheads to stop soil erosion.