Retaining Wall 101: Everything You Need to Know About Installing a Retaining Wall


Spring 2024 has certainly been a wet season! We’ve seen some extensive rain these past few weeks, and your yard and home are bearing the brunt of the storms. If pooling water, soil erosion, or water runoff are creating havoc in your backyard, it may be time to consider seeking professional intervention by installing a retaining wall. 

It can be difficult to decide what your home needs to address the challenges you’re facing, so The Concrete Gentlemen have put together Retaining Wall 101 to help guide you:

What is a Retaining Wall?

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A retaining wall is a structure designed to hold back or support soil behind it. These walls are commonly used in landscaping to create level areas on slopes, prevent soil erosion, and manage water runoff. Retaining walls can be constructed from various materials, including concrete, stone, brick, wood, and steel, and they can range from simple, small garden walls to complex, large-scale structures.

How Do You Know a Retaining Wall Would be Beneficial For Your Home?

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A retaining wall serves many purposes but is especially useful for water management in your landscaping and around your home. These are the key signs a retaining wall would be beneficial and how a retaining wall can help:

  • Erosion Control: Do you notice displaced soil or mud pooling in your yard after a big rainstorm? A retaining wall will help hold back soil and prevent displacement, particularly on sloped terrain.
  • Water Management: If you’re seeing rushing water in some regions of your yard, especially if it’s flowing toward your home, a retaining wall will be helpful. A retaining wall helps manage water runoff by directing the water away from certain areas, reducing the risk of flooding and water damage. 
  • Structural Support: Have you seen a change in the slope of your yard or worry that elevation could cause damage? A retaining wall supports and stabilizes the soil to prevent landslides or collapse, especially in areas with significant elevation changes. 
  • Landscaping or Pool Installation: Do you envision a backyard that you can enjoy, but elevation changes prevent updates? A retaining wall can help create usable flat surfaces on slopes to enable the construction of patios, walkways, or gardens. If you want to install a pool, a retaining wall is typically required in yards with elevation changes to ensure stability.

What Are the Signs that My Current Retaining Wall May Be Failing?

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If you already have a retaining wall installed at your home but are noticing soil disruption or water in unusual spots, you may need to seek out professional contractor assistance for repair. Recognizing the signs of a failing retaining wall early on is essential for maintaining its integrity and effectiveness. Here are some signs that your retaining wall is failing:

  • Cracks: Horizontal cracks indicate excessive pressure from the soil behind the wall, and vertical or diagonal cracks may suggest settling or shifting of the wall foundation.
  • Bulging or Bowing: A noticeable outward bulge or bow in the wall often indicates that the wall is under too much pressure and is starting to give way.
  • Tilting: The wall leaning away from the soil it is supposed to hold back can result from poor drainage, inadequate design, or foundational issues.
  • Water Seepage: Excessive water leaking through the wall or pooling at the base can weaken the structure over time. Poor drainage is often the culprit.
  • Soil Erosion: Erosion or gaps forming between the wall and the soil it supports can indicate that the wall is no longer effectively holding the soil.
  • Displaced or Loose Materials: Loose or shifted stones, bricks, or blocks can indicate that the wall’s integrity is compromised.

Best Measures for Installing a Retaining Wall

installing a retaining wall, the concrete gentlemen

For the best result when installing a retaining wall, it’s recommended that you consult with a professional concrete and hardscaping contractor like The Concrete Gentlemen. Skilled tradesmen can ensure that the retaining wall is planned well for proper water drainage, including drainage pipes, and that the wall is built using quality construction materials and appropriate techniques. If the retaining wall is not engineered and planned correctly, it could be a costly mistake to fix. Start with a contractor with extensive experience installing retaining walls that work for their homeowners’ property.

Work with the Best for Your Home Improvement Project ~ Call The Concrete Gentlemen Today!

installing a retaining wall, the concrete gentlemen

Your home improvement project deserves the best professionals. Selecting the right contractor for a large-scale project, like installing a retaining wall, is essential for your project’s quality, durability, and timely completion. 

The Concrete Gentlemen are top-tier concrete and hardscaping contractors in Middle Tennessee capable of completing a wide variety of commercial and residential projects. Your project will be led by gentlemen at the top of their field for concrete and hardscaping services that meet and exceed industry standards. The Gentlemen will treat your home like their own, providing you with the best customer service in the industry. 

For honest work by honest men, call The Concrete Gentlemen at 931-563-2187 to discuss your project today! Explore their gallery of finished work for inspiration for your home.

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