The Importance of Durable Retaining Walls

The Importance of Durable Retaining Walls

We may not notice it during the bustle of our daily lives, but retaining walls are everywhere: homes, schools, buildings, commercial properties, etc. They’re the solid outer walls in a structure, and they serve a significant purpose that some of us may have never heard of. If you’re planning on building a house or any kind of structure soon, you’d need to be equipped with a sizeable knowledge about construction, especially something as important as a retaining wall.   

If your curiosity has just been piqued, there are reputable installers of concrete retaining walls in Salt Lake City and other metropolitan areas. It’s best to consult the experts on what type of retaining wall you would need. But for the meantime, let’s discuss the basics.

What is a Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall is a structure that’s built to stand against soil pressure or to hold back soil materials. The fundamental function of retaining walls is to battle gravity. Basically, they defend a building against possible soil erosion that could force it to move and get damaged. There are many types of retaining walls, each of which is constructed differently to suit certain structures.

Why Do We Need Them?

If your property stands on sloping land, you’d be more secure with a retaining wall. As stated, they hold back soil and protect the structure against erosion. With a retaining wall, the slope of your property will be reduced. Moreover, if the property is situated by a fault line, a landslide could occur in the event of an earthquake. The retaining wall can reduce the impact and maintain stability.

Retaining walls can also prevent sinkholes, flooding in your property, and other damages caused by external elements. They can also add aesthetic appeal to any structure. A finely constructed, a high-quality retaining wall can add value to your property.

Retaining Walls

Types of Retaining Walls


This type of retaining wall is designed in consideration of sliding, overturning, and other bearing forces. Concrete, natural stone, and masonry are the materials that make up the gravity retaining wall. It depends on its self-weight to resist lateral earth pressure.


These walls are comprised of rectangular mesh boxes filled with rocks or other similar materials. They stabilize structures in steep slopes.


This is the most common type of retaining wall. Made of reinforced concrete, pre-cast concrete, or prestress concrete, they are also designed in consideration of sliding, overturning, and bearing forces.


This is similar to the cantilever but toughened with counter forts monolithic with the back of the wall and base slab.


This retaining wall is suitable for loose soil over rocks, acting against overturning and sliding pressure. Structures with limited spaces for retaining walls opt for this type.


This type features high stiffness retaining elements that hold lateral pressure in large excavation depths. They can be used in both temporary and permanent works.

Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE)

One of the most economical and commonly used types, MSE is supported by selected granular fills and reinforced with metallic strips or plastic meshes.

Hybrid System

Also called composite, this type uses mass and reinforcement to stabilize structures.

Retaining walls may not be an absolute necessity in every property, but with their high security and heavy-duty features, it seems that having one can give you peace of mind. And because they add value to a property, your investment may return favorably in no time.