Knoxville Concrete Contractor: The Best Way to Get the Job Done Right
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Are you looking for a concrete company that can help with your retaining wall needs?
Top Notch Concrete Knoxville is the best concrete company in the area. We have years of experience helping people with their retaining wall needs. We know what it takes to get the job done right, and we always put our customers first.
Concrete is one of the most versatile materials in the world. It can be used for everything from driveways to retaining walls. If you’re looking for a concrete company that can help with your retaining wall needs, then Top Notch Concrete Knoxville is the perfect choice. We have years of experience helping people with their retaining wall needs, and we know what it takes to get the job done right. We always put our customers first, and we want to make sure that you’re happy with the final product.
When you work with us, you can be sure that you’re getting the highest quality service possible. We take pride in our work, and we’re always looking for ways to improve. We want to make sure that you’re happy with the final product, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that happens.
Contact us today to discuss your retaining wall needs! We would be happy to help.
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What is a retaining wall and what are its benefits
A retaining wall is a structure built to hold soil or rock in place. They are commonly used to prevent erosion, hold back earth during construction, and reclaim land from a body of water. Retaining walls can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, stone, and brick.
Retaining walls provide many benefits, including:
- Erosion Control: Retaining walls hold soil in place, preventing it from being washed away by rain or wind.
- Construction Support: Retaining walls can help keep the earth in place during construction, preventing it from sliding or collapsing.
- Landscaping: Retaining walls can be used to create terraces and level areas for landscaping.
- Water Management: Retaining walls can help direct water away from buildings and other structures, preventing flooding and damage.
If you are in need of a retaining wall, contact Top Notch Concrete Knoxville. We specialize in concrete retaining walls and can help you choose the right material and design for your needs. We also offer a variety of other concrete services, including driveways, patios, and sidewalks. Call us today for a free estimate!
Installing Process of Retaining Walls
There is more to installing a retaining wall than just stacking some concrete blocks or pouring a concrete wall. A well-installed retaining wall will help to protect your property from erosion and damage caused by rainfall or runoff. Here is a guide on how to install a retaining wall:
- Decide on the location of the retaining wall. It’s important to consider the slope of the land, as well as the drainage pattern. The wall should be installed so that it is perpendicular to the slope.
- Excavate the area for the retaining wall. The depth of the excavation will depend on the size and weight of the blocks or panels that you are using. For example, if you are using concrete blocks, the excavation should be at least 12 inches deep.
- Install a foundation for the retaining wall. This may involve installing a concrete footing or creating a foundation out of bricks or stones.
- Begin building the retaining wall. If you are using blocks or panels, start by installing the corner blocks or panels. Make sure that they are level and plumb before proceeding.
- Add additional blocks or panels, working your way up the slope. Make sure that each block is properly level and aligned with the blocks below it.
- Finish off the top of the retaining wall with a cap block or panel. This will help to protect the blocks or panels from weathering and will give the wall a finished look.
Top Notch Concrete Knoxville offers professional installation services for retaining walls. We can help you choose the right type of wall for your needs, and we will install it properly so that it will last for years to come. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Various Types of Materials for Constructing a Retaining Wall!
A retaining wall is a structure that is used to support the soil mass laterally so that the soil on one side of the wall is retained or preserved when the levels are different on either side. Thus, a retaining wall is constructed to hold soil. Walls that are normally constructed while raising general structures bear vertical loads, whereas retaining walls are specially meant to bear horizontal loads.
Remember, when you use the retaining wall in landscaping, even the aesthetical aspect needs to be taken into consideration along with its strength. Hence, the choice must be a balanced one. However, if the height is not more, the strength is not critical.
01. Stone Veneer as a Retaining Wall Material
Stone veneer is a protective material that can be used in retaining walls as a decorative covering for vertical walls and surfaces. It does not hold load-bearing capacity. This means, that stone veneer is completely an aesthetic element and it needs a solid core to even work as a wall. It looks wonderful and brings enough of its unique personality to earn a spot on the list.
Advantages of Stone Veneer as a Retaining Wall Material
- Durability – Natural stone is a superior material for retaining walls. Stone Structures are capable of withstanding weathering effects i.e. snow, rain, heat, cold, etc. Thus, your wall will also have the capability of resisting all these.
- Appearance – Natural stone has a very beautiful texture and look. Beautiful patterns, colors, unique shapes and even the lichen growing on the rock are some noticeable features of these materials.
- Light in Weight – Although it is not claimed to be amongst the lightest materials on the market, stone veneer is yet reasonably lighter in weight.
- Flexibility – The solid core can be built literally for all heights and thicknesses.
Disadvantages of Stone Veneer as a Retaining Wall Material
- High Cost – Unlike some other manufactured materials, natural stone is not available at an affordable price. Retaining wall made of stone veneer will prove a bit costly.
- Installation – The installation of stone veneers generally involves skilled masons and a professional contractor.
- Design Problems – Matching all the single pieces with existing architecture is not always easy.
- Solid Core – Stone veneer alone as retaining wall material is not a freestanding element, so you will have to double the work.
02. Natural Stone as a Beautiful Retaining Wall Material
In a sense, natural stone retaining walls are very similar to boulder walls. The only obvious alteration is that natural stone pieces are much smaller than boulders. But that makes all the difference in the world. Natural stone, therefore, retains all the good qualities of other types of stone (tradition, strength, durability), while allowing you much more design options than boulder pieces.
Advantages of Natural Stone as a Beautiful Retaining Wall Material
- Appearance – Natural stone-look amazingly beautiful, and fit perfectly into any kind of traditional rustic setting. Because you are working with smaller building blocks you will have more freedom to experiment with different textures and colors.
- Tradition – Natural stone is one of the oldest and the most reliable retaining wall materials used for grade transitions.
- Durability – Much like any other stone masonry construction, if constructed well, natural stone can last for years.
Disadvantages of Natural Stone as a Beautiful Retaining Wall Material
- High Price – Stone was always considered to be one of the more pristine, but also the most expensive retaining wall materials.
- Drainage Problem – When it comes to natural stone, drainage can become a serious problem after a short period.
- Heaviness – Setting up a stone wall is a very labor-intensive process. Handling and transportation of stones are not easy as they are heavy.
- Stone Masonry is weak in tension. It may collapse or slide under tension. Hence, you must use adequate bond stones and cornerstones for their long life.
03. Use of Limestone as a Retaining Wall Material
Limestone is a sedimentary rock. Its primary materials are aragonite and calcite. Although one may think that limestone is more fragile than the traditional rock, it is interesting to know that some of the most long-lasting structures in the world like the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza are made out of limestone. Like any other material, Limestone has its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Limestone as a Retaining Wall Material
- Appearance – Limestones are usually grey or yellow. They give a very classy and timeless feel to the space they occupy.
- Durability – Limestone is weather-resistant, fireproof, bug-resistant, and impact-resistant. Even with time, it remains unaffected and does not lose its beauty and visual appeal.
- Easy to Maintain – The best part is, that limestone retaining walls are very easy to clean and maintain. They only require a gentle brush.
- A Variety of Options Available – There are a lot of options available in Limestone as it gives ample variety to choose from. Sandblasted, split-faced, polished, rubbed, grey, silver, and variegated are some of the types of limestone available.
Disadvantages of Limestone as a Retaining Wall Material
- Susceptible to Chemicals – Through Limestone is weather-resistant, it is also susceptible to chemicals. The most common cause of weathering is rainwater with high carbon dioxide.
- Susceptible to Staining – Due to its highly porous nature, limestone is very susceptible to watermarking and staining caused by other liquids.
04. Boulders – The Oldest Retaining Wall Material
Boulders are one of the oldest retaining wall materials. They are the largest type of natural stones available which provides a miscellany of shapes and sizes and demands less maintenance. Unlike quarried stone or manufactured modular blocks, boulders are widely available and ready to use for retaining wall construction even without additional refining. At the same time, they retain most of the positive aspects of the furnished stones and can last for a long.
Advantages of Boulders as Retaining Wall Material
- Natural Look – Boulders are a great match for any kind of landscaping design and rustic style.
- Easy to Use – Boulder retaining walls are very convenient to build. Some of the retaining walls can be easily constructed simply by stacking the boulders on top of each other i.e. drywall
- Availability – Boulders of all sizes and colors are easy to obtain.
- Durability – As we have mentioned earlier, boulder constructions were in use since the beginning of human existence. Some of them still exist in a better condition.
Disadvantages of Boulders as Retaining Wall Material
- Size – Boulders tend to be quite large. So, if you own a smaller yard, you must probably skip this idea as they will occupy a lot of space.
- Transportation – If the blocks are not locally available, then transportation is not easy and it will turn out to be expensive as well.
- Height – Boulder retaining walls can not be constructed as high as concrete walls as stone masonry is weak in tension.
05. Gabion – A Flexible Retaining Wall Material
Gabion is also a very old and traditional method of building retaining walls. The name ‘Gabion’ is derived from the Italian word Gabbia which stands for the cage. They are simple cages made out of steel rods or wires and filled with rock/stone or rubble.
Gabions are flexible materials and ideal for retaining walls, particularly in landscaping. On one end they look natural and beautiful, and on the other end they are flexible, they do not suffer much stress. Hence, distresses due to horizontal or vertical movement of soil do not cause substantial settlement or sliding.
Advantages of Gabion as a Retaining Wall Material
- Heavy Basis – Gabion walls can stay firm in any position, even during the worst downpours.
- Flexibility – Gabion is a wire container or ‘a basket.’ Thus, it is very flexible and extremely easy to fit in any type of backyard setup.
- Upgradability – Gabion walls are modular. It means that each of their sections can be easily upgraded or replaced. Also, the gaps between concrete pieces or rock can be filled with vegetation and silt which should further reinforce the wall.
- Ease of Use – Gabion retaining walls can be built even with the slightest knowledge of masonry or architecture. The time taken for raising such walls is comparatively very less and transportation is also manageable.
Disadvantages of Gabion as a Retaining Wall Material
- Visual Appeal – Although they can play along with a wide variety of riverside and coastal homes, gabion walls do not give a better aesthetical look, and neither they are visually pleasing.
- Prone to Rust – If you ignore the maintenance part, wire baskets can easily rust and render the whole setup worthless.
- Vulnerable to Water – Exposure to water can damage the basket and cause the corrosion of the cage and the materials inside. (Depending upon the elements)
If you wish to go for this option, you may require a large width. Hence, if you have limited space, this option would not be a feasible one as it will occupy major of your land, along the boundary.
06. Bricks – The Most Popular Retaining Wall Material
Brick is one of the most popular building materials, and it is very easy to deal with as well. Unlike concrete and stone, bricks give a very warm and inviting look. They do a wonderful job complementing traditional landscapes and homes. Bricks as retaining wall materials have a lot of other good things that make them popular in the list.
Advantages of Bricks as Retaining Wall Material
- Low Maintenance – Brick is a comparably low-maintenance building material. Also, it retains its color so well that you don’t have to bother for painting too often.
- Eco-Friendly – Bricks are made from clay and fertile land. Thus, they are eco–friendly. Also, bricks can be reused later for other landscaping elements like walking paths.
- Weather and Fire Resistance – Bricks are not damaged by dampness. Also, bricks are not a combustible material; hence they do not spread the fire.
- Durability – A solid, well-made brick masonry retaining wall is nowhere near the durability of the one made of stone, but still we can say that its durability is good.
Disadvantages of Bricks as Retaining Wall Material
- Colour limitations – Although they come in a range of different colors, compared to some other retaining wall materials, bricks do not offer a large variety of colors.
- The Lack of Flexibility – As it lacks flexibility, changing the outer appearance is difficult, but replacing a damaged brick is even more problematic.
07. Wood as a Retaining Wall Material
Wood is among the popular retaining wall materials, but you need to be careful while selecting the type of wood if you want to use it for a retaining wall.
Advantages of Wood as a Retaining Wall Material
- Natural Look – Wood retaining walls tend to blend into the landscape quite seamlessly.
- Cost – Wood retaining walls are normally very cost-effective.
- Ease of Installation – Wood retaining walls are also very easy to install which makes them ideal for a DIY landscaping project.
- Lightweight – Although reasonably durable, wood is a very lightweight retaining wall material that is easy to dismantle, move around and reuse.
Disadvantages of Wood as a Retaining Wall Material
- Limited Lifespan – Amongst all the retaining wall materials discussed here, wood probably has the shortest lifespan. Though with proper maintenance, you can increase the lifespan of the wood retaining wall.
- Wood Rots – With proper treatment, you can control the rotting of wood to some extent but not totally. If you are living in a place that falls under a heavy rainfall region, you are advised not to use this material.
- Susceptible to Termites – This is the area where utmost care is required. If you do not maintain the wooden structure properly, then someday it will be susceptible to termites which will ultimately damage the retaining wall and backfill too.
08. Timber – A Durable Retaining Wall Material
Although at first glance wood and timber may seem to be the same, they are not. The word timber is used for any stage of wood after the tree has been cut. The so-called “finished” timber is the wood that has been processed and cut into various sizes. Mostly they are of good quality and normally used as structural wood for buildings.
Advantages of Timber as a Retaining Wall Material
- Durable – Thick timber pieces are more durable and much heavier than wooden planks.
- Good-Looking – Timber as such possess natural charm. Thus, it ought to bring a lot of old-school charm to your backyard. It will also create a very strong impression on the viewers.
- Easy to Install – Installation is quick and easy as you don’t have to use concrete or mortar in it. Timber retaining walls have good structural integrity; even if you simply stack the pillars on top of each other and nail them together.
Disadvantages of Timber as a Retaining Wall Material
- Timber Rots – Although timber retaining walls are said to last at least 15-20 years, not many of them are this lucky as the rotting can affect their lifespan.
- Lacks Flexibility – Timber pillars are very bulky and large. Making any kind of advanced design with such retaining wall material is not easy as it lacks flexibility.
- Susceptible to Termites – Again, like any wood, timber is also vulnerable to termites.
09. Concrete Blocks – Modern Retaining Wall Material
Concrete blocks are the latest, modern and common type of retaining wall material. This is because it is produced artificially (Precast), and concrete gives a lot of flexibility and variety to choose from.
Concrete walls are generally designed to be set on a compacted gravel base and remain strong even when pressure is applied to them.
Advantages of Concrete Blocks as Retaining Wall Material
- Durability – A concrete wall has the best longevity and can usually last up to a whole century.
- Variety – Concrete blocks are available in different shapes and sizes. They can also be used to create curves.
- Easy Installation – Concrete block walls are generally much easier to install than some other, more labor-demanding block types.
- Low Maintenance – It has practically very low maintenance. Cleaning it once a year is what is required.
- Eco-Friendly – Moreover, concrete walls are non-toxic and eco-friendly. They do not emit dangerous chemicals or allergens.
Disadvantages of Concrete Blocks as Retaining Wall Material
- Architectural Demands – Concrete block retaining walls have to be carefully designed, hence you must seek professional advice for addressing drainage and other effects associated issues. Also, the lack of proper support may affect the durability of the retaining wall.
- Limitation on Height of Wall – Concrete block retaining walls can be used only for walls that are not taller than four to six feet. So, if you want to raise your rose beds at a higher level, you will have to look for another option.
- Complicated to Remove – If you ever want to change the placement of the wall, you will have to undergo a lot of difficulties to dismantle it.
10. Poured Concrete or Cast-in-situ Concrete as a Retaining Wall Material
Poured or cast-in-situ concrete is a very popular architectural option produced by pouring the concrete directly into the forms on the site. Since it looks very clean-cut, cast-in-situ concrete plays the best with the modern-looking surrounding. The ability of the concrete to support the soil load depends on weather conditions and other elements, apart from its thickness.
Advantages of Cast-in-situ Concrete as a Retaining Wall Material
- Strength – Since it has a higher density than block retaining walls, the walls built of cast-in-situ concrete are much stronger.
- Variety – Concrete can be poured and shaped into any form you desire, which means it gives you a lot of design options to choose from.
- Consistent Look – It looks consistent.
- Flexibility – Poured concrete helps to incorporate other architectural elements i.e. drainage systems very easily.
- Apart from the retaining wall materials, we have also listed the masonry materials.
Disadvantages of Cast-in-situ Concrete as a Retaining Wall Material
- Susceptible to Crack – Concrete walls generally need some kind of structural support (e.g. steel rods). If such supports are not provided to them, they may crack.
- Building Requires a Lot of Skill – It requires skillful hands. Also, the forms in which you are going to pour concrete should be immaculate and perfectly set up.
- Moisture – Retaining walls made with poured concrete when exposed to excessive amounts of water, concrete tends to become unacceptably damp. This may damage its surface treatment i.e. painting.
- Vulnerability to Chemical Damage – Concrete can be easily damaged by several chemicals like sulfates, chlorides, and even distilled water. In brief, when it comes to residential retaining walls, there is a variety of materials available as discussed above. But certain things need to be kept in mind – firstly, you need to decide the purpose of the wall, then the appearance you are desiring, and finally, your budget while deciding on the retaining wall material. Having understood the pros and cons of every material, now it is up to you whether you choose timber, stone, concrete block, or any other material. We are sure that this article must have helped you in understanding the basics of retaining wall construction so that you can have the wall that has been designed and built flawlessly.
FAQs About Retaining Walls
If you’re looking for a way to add extra stability and support to your landscaping, retaining walls may be the perfect solution. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. Here are some of the most common questions people ask about retaining walls.
1. What is a retaining wall?
A retaining wall is a structure that holds back earth or other material from a slope. They are commonly used to prevent soil erosion and to provide support for structures such as roads, buildings, and bridges.
2. What are the different types of retaining walls?
There are three main types of retaining walls: cantilevered, gravity, and anchored. Cantilevered walls are supported by a projecting element, such as a beam or girder. Gravity walls rely on their weight to hold them in place. Anchored walls use temporary or permanent anchors to keep them in place.
3. What is the purpose of a retaining wall?
The primary purpose of a retaining wall is to hold back earth or other material from a slope. However, they can also be used for aesthetic purposes, to create space for features such as gardens or seating areas, or to stabilize embankments.
4. What are the benefits of using a retaining wall?
Retaining walls can provide many benefits, including:
- preventing soil erosion
- providing support for structures such as roads, buildings, and bridges
- stabilizing embankments
- creating space for features such as gardens or seating areas
- enhancing the appearance of a property.
5. Are there any disadvantages to using a retaining wall?
The main disadvantage of using a retaining wall is that it can be expensive to construct. However, they are typically long-lasting and require little maintenance, so they can be a wise investment.
6. How do I choose the right type of retaining wall for my needs?
The type of retaining wall you choose will depend on several factors, including:
- the purpose of the wall
- the height and length of the wall
- the slope of the land
- the soil conditions
- the climate
- the budget.
7. How do I care for my retaining wall?
Caring for your retaining wall is important to prolong its life and prevent deterioration. Depending on the type of materials used, you may need to seal or paint the wall to protect it from the elements. It is also important to regularly check the wall for cracks or other damage and to repair any damage promptly.
8. What are the most common problems with retaining walls?
The most common problems with retaining walls are:
- soil erosion
- vegetation growth.
9. How can I prevent problems with my retaining wall?
There are several things you can do to prevent problems with your retaining wall, including:
- choosing the right type of wall for your needs
- constructing the wall properly
- using high-quality materials
- maintaining the wall regularly.
10. Who can help me with my retaining wall needs?
If you need help with your retaining wall, you can contact a professional contractor who specializes in this type of work. They will be able to advise you on the best type of wall for your needs and help you construct it properly.