What are the types of retaining walls

Wall a retaining wall

Ways of building a retaining wall

A brick wall, unlike heavy-faced walls made of prefabricated concrete parts or gabions with loose stones in a mesh basket, consists of stones placed one on top of the other. In a narrower sense, masonry walls only include those in which the stones are connected to one another with mortar (€ 7.79 at Amazon *). But there are also walls built from stacked stones without mortar, which can become very stable and are therefore also suitable as retaining walls. Therefore, let's take a look at the following masonry:

  • Mortar wall
  • Dry stone wall
  • Scarf stone wall

Mortar wall

If the bricks of a masonry are solidified horizontally and vertically with mortar, masonry is created in the classic sense. In this way you can erect different stones to form a wall - both artificial and natural. Natural stones made of sandstone, granite, limestone, basalt or dolomite are particularly attractive and authentic. In addition, these types of rock score with good durability. Artificial stones, i.e. from minerally bound, industrially manufactured stones or masonry bricks, result in a tidier overall picture due to their geometrically clear shape.

The grouting not only strengthens the masonry, but also simplifies erection. The bricks do not have to fit one another directly, but can also be joined together with larger irregularities using the leveling mortar mass. In this way, a structure-rich, characterful joint pattern can be created.

In the case of mortared walls that are to function as retaining walls, good moisture protection must always be ensured. Because the mortar joints represent a catchment aisle for moisture from the ground. If bricks are used, the stone material of the wall is also more sensitive to moisture. A coating underneath and on the back of the wall with foil or bitumen filler (€ 4.25 at Amazon *) is then recommended.

Dry stone wall

Dry stone walls are walls built without mortar and, because mostly natural stones are used for them, usually also count as natural stone walls. Without a hardening mortar, dry stone walls are inherently less stable. Nevertheless, they can easily be used as retaining walls. In order to be able to oppose the soil to be supported enough, they only have to be heavy and thick enough and ideally lean against the slope at an angle.

Scarf stone wall

A very stable and externally clean wall of dry hollow concrete blocks is built with scarf stones, which are subsequently filled with [lin ku = stuetzmauer-betonieren] concrete and thereby weighted down and solidified. Even with scarf stone walls, however, care must be taken to ensure that there is a moisture barrier directly under and behind the masonry.

Caroline Strauss

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Article image: Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock
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