Featured Project 1
An existing, mortared brick wall was deteriorating due to a combination of drainage problems, age, and a poor foundation. The wall was demolished in order to build a premium concrete block wall. The specific block was selected due to its variety of block sizes which provided a more random appearance to the wall. Also, the block is designed to be used for retaining walls. Be sure that selected products are made for retaining loads to a project’s specific height and not just for free-standing walls. Any block that is simply stacked atop and glued to another block is not for retaining walls over certain heights.
It is crucial to bury the base course of any retaining wall. This practice creates a stable base upon which the wall will sit. If the base course is not buried, then the retained load could cause the base of the wall to slip out from beneath the wall through time.
A wall using modular units of any kind- concrete block or stone- should never follow the slope of the existing grade. The courses should be level and the base and top of the wall should be adjusted accordingly with step ups or step downs. It is important to routinely check that the wall is level side-to-side to maintain its strength and front-to-back to ensure that it is not leaning away from the load.
If the blocks have voids or cells in them, then as the wall is erected, those cells should be filled with dense grade aggregate (DGA) to add strength to the wall.
As the DGA is added to the cells, it is important to pack the aggregate into the cells. If this process is skipped then voids may still exist.
If drainage, irrigation, or electrical service is required on either side of the wall, it is important to provide sleeves in order to run the lines back and forth without requiring the wall to be disassembled.
When using concrete block with large units, a curved wall section can be difficult to construct. However, with some detailed assessment and planning, even the large units can be installed to bridge the joints of the small units maintaining the strength of the wall.
Leave a Comment