Small segmental retaining walls are constructed using precast concrete blocks that weigh less than 100 lbs each. These blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are more suited for building light duty retaining walls less than 6′ in height. If your site has limited access, and bringing in heavy equipment is not viable, then small precast retaining wall blocks might be a good choice.
Precast retaining wall blocks work by interlocking with each other to act as one single unit. Each block interlocks with the one beneath it, and every course is offset by half a block so that a running bond is created to provide maximum strength and stability. Each course will often have a slight setback called a batter to improve stability by leaning back into the retained soil.
Unlike Armour stone retaining walls, precast retaining walls are fairly rigid, and are incapable of minor movements without undermining the structural integrity of the retaining wall. Small precast concrete blocks are one of the most cost-effective methods of building a retaining wall, however, careful consideration must be given to site and soil conditions before selecting a small concrete block as their load bearing capacity is rather limited.
Even a small Segmental retaining wall block, reinforced with Geo-Grid, can be used to build retaining walls up to 50′ in height. Such walls require meticulous planning and in-depth geotechnical analysis. For retaining walls less than 6′ in height, and are not required to withstand load surcharges, small precast blocks such as Versa-Lok or Unilock Pisa 2 are ideal. These Types of retaining walls may not require the approval of a structural engineer but a municipal building permit may be required for such a construction.
If your retaining wall project requires a wall in excess of 3′ in height, it is best to contact a specialized retaining wall contractor well in advance as the design and permit phase of the project could take considerable time and resources. We are fully equipped to service residential, commercial and industrial clients in the Mississauga, Oakville. Burlington, Hamilton 8, surrounding areas. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation.
Peter Palmer Wall
The original wall was a pre-existing rotting railroad tie wall, which had long since lost its visual appeal and practical purpose.
The replacement wall was a 2 to 4 foot high precast block wall, using a Bestway Stone Parkwall product. Wall was set on a ¾ inch gravel base with non woven filter fabric to separate the soil from clear gravel used as backfill. Perforated socked weeping tile was installed behind the wall for drainage and a geo-grid mesh tie-back installed every 2 courses for structural support. Parkwall coping was installed to finish top of wall.
A mixture of landscape materials was installed atop the wall for a visually appealling garden. A combination of Armour Stone nestled amongst a bed of River Rock create a visual appeal, while allowing low-maintenance care.
Harbord Handy Man Wall
A low cost wall made of precast block to replace an old, crumbling concrete wall reinforced with metal. This solid block has its own locking grooves and clips and matching coping. The structure is solid and visually appealing and creates a long lasting, decorative appeal for both retaining walls and raised gardens.