A retaining wall is a sturdy, durable wall that offers support in a location with two different land levels. Retaining walls may help homeowners avoid erosion, which is the gradual slope of the land. Some homeowners in Pennsylvania may need a retaining wall, and we have compiled a guide to help you better understand your options.
How Does a Retaining Wall Work?
A retaining wall is a wall that’s installed between different levels of land. The wall is durable and usually made with brick, stone, concrete, or wood. The retaining wall shifts some of the force from the fluctuating land levels to the wall’s base. Properly installed retaining walls can prevent land erosion and falling soil for many years.
In fact, some retaining walls can even last between 50-100 years. A retaining wall may also help to avoid flooding. If a large area of land needs a retaining wall, the retaining wall contractor may use multiple interlocking pieces.
Who Needs a Retaining Wall?
Many Pennsylvania homeowners may benefit from a retaining wall, including those with a property that:
- Sits at the bottom of a steep slope
- Is located in a high-flood area
- Is near a body of water
- Has a damaged foundation
- Shows signs of soil erosion
- Includes wasted unusable outdoor space due to varying levels
- Is in a neighborhood with rising flood levels
- Is in an area with higher-than-average rainfall
What Type of Retaining Wall Do I Need?
The type of retaining wall you need depends on your property and goals. There are a variety of retaining wall types to choose from, and it’s usually best to work with a professional hardscaping company to choose the right one. A few retaining wall types to consider include gravity, segmented, or counterfort walls. You can also choose from a wide range of material types.
Many Pennsylvania homeowners enjoy matching their retaining wall materials to the rest of their outdoor design.
For example, if you install a brick retaining wall, you may want a brick patio design. In addition to choosing a design that fits your aesthetic goals, you also want to ensure the retaining wall is installed properly to protect your yard. While retaining walls tend to look nice, they also serve an important purpose.
Requirements for Installing a Retaining Wall in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania requires permits for most home renovation projects, including certain sizes of retaining walls. Before installing a retaining wall, you should pull all necessary permits and licensing.
The good thing is that if you’re working with a professional hardscaping company, they should handle all the paperwork for you. Some shorter retaining walls may not require a permit, depending on where you live in Pennsylvania, but it’s always a good idea to check before beginning installation.
Benefits of a Retaining Wall
Here are a few reasons to consider getting a retaining wall:
Increased Property Value
A retaining wall can be designed to look nice and add to your overall backyard aesthetic. Because the retaining wall is in place to prevent erosion and flooding, it can also make buyers more comfortable with purchasing your home, especially if you’re in a flood zone. A customized home design with a retaining wall can help your yard stand out from other homes on your block.
Reduces the Chance of Flooding
A retaining wall also reduces the chances of flooding. If you own a Pennsylvania home on or near water, you may be at risk of flood damage. A retaining wall redirects rainfall to more appropriate draining areas. Additionally, a retaining wall can prevent fluctuating lake levels from flooding into your home.
Increases Outdoor Space
A retaining wall can also increase the amount of usable outdoor space. If you live on a steep slope or hill, you may have a lot of unusable space since you can’t put furniture or decorations on the hill without them falling. When you install a retaining wall, you can create a flat space that adds to your outdoor entertainment space.
One of the biggest benefits of a retaining wall is the ability to stop erosion. Houses on steep slopes are more at risk of erosion. A retaining wall reduces the amount of water on your lawn and helps prevent erosion.
Retaining walls help protect your lawn and make your yard look great. Using a retaining wall can also prevent erosion and increase your usable space. Because a retaining wall is so important to the structural integrity of your yard, it’s best to work with a professional hardscaping company.