Why Choose Composite Decking For Your New Deck Project?

Designing a new deck project requires a lot of thinking. Apart from the time and effort you must put into it, you also need to carefully plan what you want. It involves your colour preferences and the texture you want out of it. You should make it a point too that the colour complements what is seen in the colour of your home and consider how much long term work is needed to put up a new deck.

Wood decking materials

Part of the planning stage is thinking about which wood decking materials to make use of. Many people definitely want to see natural wood on their decks since this one is definitely visually appealing. It has grain patterns, shades, and hues depending on the species of wood used which in turn brings out a beautifully, distinctive characteristic out of the chosen material. Amongst the variety of woods available for decking are those of redwood, cedar, cypress, and even treated pine products. Whilst wood remains to be a popular choice, it has to be noted that synthetic or composite decking systems are taking over the scene especially now that there are technologies that produce products that are as appealing as those from natural wood.

Advantages and disadvantages of wood decking

Wood has the capability to dissipate heat over a surface. This means that you can walk over wood surfaces and not burn your feet even when these surfaces have been exposed to direct sunlight for long hours. However, you have to take note that there are drawbacks to choosing wood for your decking materials.

First on the list is the fact that these surfaces require periodic treatments using sealants and synthetic wood preservatives. These can help minimise damages from the sun’s UV rays. Whilst these sealants are not a prey to algae and mildew, they contain natural oils that organisms can feed on. Not to forget that even the best wood deck sealants need re-treatment every 2 to 3 years.

Why choose composite decking?

Seeing the drawbacks of wood decking, you might want to reconsider composite decking instead. Be convinced by the reasons to choose this material for your next deck project. Composite decking is low maintenance which means you need not seal, paint, or stain the surface to get the attractive look that you want. It can last for years without the need of coating the surface.

It is also capable of resisting heat which means it is not prone to fading. Highly reflective colour pigments are used to be able to sustain this attribute of composite decking. It is also safe to use because it is both skid and splinter-free. It is also a very durable choice because it can last up to 25 years or so.

On top of all these great things about using composite decking, you will also love it for the fact that it can increase the value of your home. This means that it will be easier for you to recoup what you have invested once you sell your home. Deck additions are known for adding value to a home once sold and surely, composite decking will give that advantage.

Getting help from experts

You have to remember that installing a deck in your home can only be maximised if you have hired the best team to work on the project. You have to go for professionals who you can trust to do the job for you and provide you the results that you expect. Hire our deck contractors in Markham and you can be sure you will be able to enjoy all the benefits provided by composite decking for your home improvement project.

How Does Sealcoating Benefit An Asphalt Pavement?

A composite material, asphalt is commonly used to surface not just roads but airports, and parking lots as well. It is also used as the core for embankment dams. Asphalt looks very polished after laying them over a surface but through years of use, the pavement surface can actually look dreadful. The good news is it can be restored to make them look like new. Here is where the magic of sealcoating enters the scenario.

Sealcoating is comprised of a thin liquid layer which can be added on several types of paved surfaces, including asphalt pavements. It is done in order to protect the surface from the UV rays of the sun which can damage the pavement. It is also a perfect partner for damage protection against snow and rain as well as those fluids leaking from vehicles that pass by. Sealcoating may not be capable of reverting existing issues like cracks but it has the capability to prevent these damages from affecting the pavement. Learn more about how sealcoating benefits an asphalt pavement.

It extends the lifespan of the asphalt pavement

asphalt paving contractor

Have you noticed that asphalt paving is done every now and then? This is because of the damages that exposure to dangerous elements can bring. If the asphalt pavement has undergone sealcoating, however, the need to add layers of asphalt to a pavement will no longer be as often as we see it happening. This can definitely lessen your expenses while helping the surface serve its purpose for a longer time than usual. Aside from being a protective layer to the asphalt pavement, sealcoating can help fill surface damage.

It can save you money

As mentioned, sealcoating has the ability to reduce the need to add layers of asphalt over a pavement. This translates to cost savings. Come to think of it, when an asphalt pavement is properly maintained and is sealed, it can definitely reduce long-term costs associated with the need to repair the pavement.

It enhances the appearance of asphalt

Imagine your skin being exposed to harmful elements. It can look dry and will age earlier than usual. This occurrence speeds up if you do not add any layer of protection to your skin. The same is true with an asphalt pavement. Once exposed to the elements, the appearance will fade over time. If sealcoat is used over it, on the other hand, the asphalt pavement will look like it is new.

It speeds up the melting process of ice and snow

This is especially true over pavement surfaces like those with asphalt on them. Alongside this, sealcoating is capable of protecting the surface against water penetration as well as frost, snow, and rain damage.

How to maximise the benefits of sealcoating over asphalt pavements

There is indeed a list of benefits of sealcoating over asphalt pavements like the ones mentioned above. In order to maximise results, however, it is important to bring a few tips to mind.

  • The sealcoating process must be properly completed by making sure that the pavement as well as the air temperature is no less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit for the entire duration of the application until eight hours after application is finished.
  • It is also important to clear the asphalt surface from dirt and debris. Potholes, cracks and all other minor repairs must be repaired by filling them. Vehicle fluids must also be removed from the surface.
  • Choose the appropriate sealcoating application method for you. Your choice includes using a spray or a squeegee.

Keep your asphalt pavement smooth, attractive, functional, and long-lasting by considering sealcoating. We offer driveway sealing in Vaughan for better-looking and durable paved driveways.

Celebrating The Beauty Of Retaining Walls

Is your house standing on a higher elevation or on a slope? If it is then you should recognise the advantages of such a setup. This will mean that your home will be less prone to flood damage. Add to that, its natural drainage will mean that there will be less standing water in your place which is a common cause of water seeping into the basement or one that weakens the foundation.

If there is one disadvantage of having a slope where your home is standing then that will point out to problems in landscaping. It can cause erosion that will affect yards in neighbouring homes plus it will require more maintenance in case you have plants growing in your home. But with a retaining wall, this problem can be solved in no time.

Retaining walls to beautify your home

Retaining walls can help solve the problems commonly encountered by homeowners with houses standing on a higher elevation. At some point, however, anything that will grow above the wall can be another cause of concern. You can eliminate that and beautify your home by making sure that the wall’s location work well with its construction and landscaping. Aside from creating an attractive facade from this combination, exterior design maintenance will never be a concern since it will fit anyone’s budget.

Retaining walls for an outdoor living area

Spending time outdoors with your loved ones during a warm day will be made possible by combining retaining walls with raised flower beds. Bushes and trailing vines may grow above the walls and can be used to give you the privacy and insulation that you need when spending time outdoors. The beds, on the other hand, will be very useful if you want to grow shrubs and add colour to your exterior. The stone will protect the flower bed and will require low maintenance.

Retaining walls inside a fence

If you already have a fence, you can still add retaining walls to it. This will serve an important role when protecting the patio or the pool area. Fences are made to give you the privacy that you need while retaining walls will protect your landscape from fire-pit flames or from chlorinated pool water. The raised beds will definitely be maintained and be beautiful with retaining walls to protect them.

Retaining walls on a play area

Bordering your play area with a wooden retaining wall is both functional and aesthetical. Starter plants on the slope will cover the wooden walls and will give the play area a nice, enticing backdrop. Add to that, if wood is properly installed and treated thereafter, it will surely last its purpose for a longer time than you have expected.

Retaining walls to provide shade

A beautiful retaining wall will extend its function especially when they are built around your valuable trees. The walls can provide space if you want to grow plants that love living under a shade. As an end result, you will have a space that complements any surrounding woodland.

The bottom line

Celebrating the beauty of retaining walls can be achieved in more ways than one. You can have it to protect your plants and to provide privacy when you are having fun outdoors. It can be the source of beauty for your landscape. As long as the installation is properly maintained, and you have selected the right materials for your retaining walls, it is more likely than not that the retaining walls will add value to your property.

It is also important to seek the help of niche experts when it comes to retaining walls in Vaughan. When you do, you are assured of making a wise investment!

How To Bring Out Your Home’s Beauty With Natural Stone Installation

Natural stone can bring out the elegance in one’s home no matter how traditional or modern the setup of that home is. It adds a touch of class and sophistication anywhere you plan of installing one. Once used, you will be mesmerised with the end result. Whether you plan of installing it to beautify your facade or to make your flooring sturdier, it will surely bring out a standout attribute that everyone else having the chance to glance on it will envy. You do not need to have your entire home installed with natural stone improvements. There are different ways you can use natural stone installation and still bring out the beauty in your home.

Use it to revamp your backyard

Natural stone can be very beautiful when you install it in your backyard space. It will be a good idea to have it on your fire pit, patio, barbecue area or your poolside. It can also be used as flooring for a deck, an entire patio or just your backyard walkway. In case you are on a tight budget and you simply do not want to miss out on the beauty that natural stone can bring out of your backyard space, you can stick to your budget. Install natural stone to add accent to your pool, fire pit and patio.

Use it for your walkways

Homeowners always want their homes to have that curb appeal. Nothing beats a natural stone walkway when upgrading your home. They are cheap to install and create that first impression you want. They are made out of different patterns, colours and materials that are undeniably important in achieving the look that you want for your walkway. With the help of a contractor in flagstone installation, you will be able to achieve that.

Use stone veneer on your home’s facade

The facade is that exterior part of your home that faces the street. It is your home’s frontage and will definitely be one of the spots your neighbours and other bystanders will see. Installing stone veneer on this part of your home will upgrade its look. It will be the focal point of your home’s exterior. Stone veneer can be combined with natural stone accents. When you have made this combination, it will create a beautiful impression that lasts a long way.

Use stone walls around your home’s foundation

In order to support the stone you have installed on the facade of your home, why not extend the project by installing stone walls around your home’s foundation as well. Combining wood and stone is very natural and pleasing to look at. Beyond the aesthetics, however, using stone in combination with wood will provide protection to the foundation. It can help keep moisture out thus protecting your home no matter what the weather is outside.

Use natural stone indoors

If you think natural stone should only be installed outside your home since it is the first thing that visitors and other people see, think again. You can extend natural stone installation indoors. Take note though that there are certain key areas where the installation can be very beautiful like your kitchen, a large dining hall, on a fireplace or in your family room if you have one. This indoor installation will add a touch of class into these areas and will also add functionality to the space. The natural stone installation can protect your walls from fire if you have it installed on your fireplace.

These are but just few of the projects that you can think of when beautifying your home with natural stone installation. In order to achieve the look that you want, consult with a contractor that specializes in flagstone in Richmond Hill.

Why Are Paver Driveways Better Than Concrete Driveways?

When you are asking the opinion of others about beautifying your driveway, sometimes you might end up disappointed. Some people will tell you that it is just a driveway so why bother spend money and time on it? Well, as a homeowner, you may have researched on the importance of putting work into that once neglected part of your home. You realised it is an important element in the home’s marketability in case you plan to sell it in the future. As you see it, driveways are as important as the house you have built and what you have placed inside it.

Typically, just like others, you won’t really pay attention to what you will use to beautify your driveways. Whether it is simple concrete or plain pavers, you will think having them installed will be enough. But once you have seen those patterns and colours present on a neighbour’s driveway, you will think of installing those types of pavers on your driveways as well. When you are left in awe with what you have seen, you definitely want to spend money on it.

Will you opt for paver driveways or concrete driveways?

Concrete driveways are popular. No one can deny the fact that they have been there since automobiles have been introduced in the market. The good thing about concrete driveways is they are sturdy and can provide support to the weight of a motor vehicle or anything that moves on it and those that carry a heavy load.

As popular as concrete driveways, however, are paver driveways. In fact, the very first one dates back to the 6th century BC. Romans have used such paver driveways in order to move their troops all over the world. These pavers are still seen up to now but these interlocking pavers have been made even more durable this time. There are even those that have survived World War II.

Concrete driveways

Aside from plain concrete, stamped concrete are also being manufactured these days. Both of these types of concrete are attractive but you have to remember that installing one will entail higher labour costs. Do not forget that there are problems inherent to concrete which will mean additional expense on your part later on.

In fact, even after concrete has been cured, they are still prone to cracking specifically on the driveway’s edges. This can be very difficult to repair. You have to remove the entire broken piece then find one that matches the exact colour, finish and consistency to make it as attractive as before. Concrete driveways can also be a fall hazard since they tend to be slippery when wet. Anything that makes the driveway wet increases these problems whether it is rain, ice, snow or even water you have used for car washing.

Paver driveways

Interlocking concrete pavers have been made from a mixture of sand, gravel, cement, and water. This combination results to a more porous material. The interlocking feature in these pavers also helps prevent them from rotating or the possibilities of slippage. In case pavers crack or become discoloured, it requires less extensive labour and cost. It is also very easy to take up a few pavers up then lay them back down for any improvements that you need to do.

They can also be complemented with grass for a more textured look on the driveway. Just simply fill the spaces between two pavers with moss or grass and you will be able to create a beautiful structure. Mowing the grass in case they grow tall is very easy too. They are absorbent thus any harsh weather conditions will never be a problem.

It is with no doubt that paver driveways are better than the concrete options. Remember to engage the help of a reliable interlocking contractor in Markham to achieve the best installation results.

Applicator Types for Interlock Sealing

There are many ways to build a driveway or a pavement, and one of the most popular of these is by using interlocking blocks. Not only is the process quick and convenient, but the results are also long-lasting when taken care of. The fact that there are so many materials to choose from also means that using interlocking blocks can be a strategy to design an aesthetically pleasing driveway or pavement. After construction, sealing is a process that is optional.

However, due to the many benefits it confers to the driveway or pavement, it is advisable to ensure that it’s done. Sealing interlocking blocks results in longer life, need for less maintenance, a lower risk of weed growth and maintenance of the original color for a longer time. Placing sealant on interlocking blocks is usually done using an applicator. Some of the most popular types include:

Low pressure, high-volume (LPHV) sprayers

Also known as airless sprayers, these sealant applicator types are considered to be the best for application of any type of interlocking block sealant. When sprayers of this type are used, they permit finely controlled rates of application. This means that the sealing process can be more accurate, and it also makes it possible to seal large areas in shorter times.

The majority of these sprayers can be used with solvent-based or water-based sealers, any type of resin and low or high solid content. The contractor basically has few restrictions regarding the type of sealant they can use when using LPHV applicators. The spray equipment is usually rented (if you decide to do the sealing on your own). However, you can ask your paving contractor to do interlock sealing as part of the project. You then don’t have to worry about the technicalities of doing it, and will be assured of a professionally done sealing job.

Roller sealants 

A roller sealant applicator makes use of a roller similar to the one used for painting. The roller typically has a quarter to three-eighths inch naps. Though they can be used to apply sealants that are solvent or water-based, they are not ideal for application of sealants whose solid content is above 35%. Additionally, if it turns out that the surface to be sealed is rough or ambient temperatures are high, rollers are not ideal for applying solvent-based sealants since they will lead to problems including puddling and bubbling. In essence, this means that before using roller sealants, one has to make sure that all the variables allow for its use.

Pump-up sprayers

These sealant applicators are also known as low-pressure sprayers. Some are not ideal for using solvent-based sealants, since they can get clogged. However, pump-up sprayers that are designed for solvent-based sealant use are ideal for application of one-part solvent-based sealants which have a solids content less than 35%.

T-Bars

A T-bar applicator is a piece of metal with a straight edge, designed specifically for sealant application. They are most ideal for applying sealants that have very high solid content (more than 35%). These are usually epoxy and polyurethane sealers. T-bars can only be used for application over smooth surfaces.

Lamb’s wool applicator 

This sealant applicator is essentially a woolen rag which is wrapped on a block. This type of applicator is excellent when applying high-solid sealant, particularly if they are solvent-based. These typically include epoxy and polyurethane sealants. These applicators can only be used on smooth surfaces.

Micro-fiber applicators 

Synthetic micro-fiber applicators are the best choice for application of water-based sealants with low solid content on smooth surfaces. One of the major benefits of micro-fiber applicators is that they achieve very thin coverage, which is necessary to achieve a quality finish.

Tips To Ensure Your Deck Stays Durable

Decks provide extra space in your home, which can be used for fun activities such as holding outdoor parties or simply relaxing after a hectic day. When thinking of installing one in your current home, the planning process should put into consideration many factors so that you can end up with a deck which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but which will also be safe and functional as well.

Of course, if you consult a trusted deck contractor to do the job for you, you can rest assured that all these details will be sorted out. However, it’s important to know about some of the critical things which influence deck design and construction, and one of these is the strength of the deck. Since this affects safety, it is something that you should not ignore. Some of the tips you can use to ensure that the deck stays durable include:

Consider the furniture and other equipment that will be on the deck 

During the planning phase, you should have a good idea of the type of furniture and other equipment that will be on the deck. These could include a grill, a drinks cabinet and more. This will then give a rough idea of how much weight the deck will be expected to bear, and the design will be made with this in mind.

The purpose of the deck 

Why are you building the deck? Is it to provide a space where you can spend some alone time or to provide an area for frequent outdoor parties? These answers to these questions should be clear when designing the deck. In the first instance, you would not need a very strong deck since it would only need to support you and occasionally, a few other people.

The fact that you would be using it on your own most of the time also means that it won’t need a lot of furniture. Such a deck can be built to be weaker than one that is meant to host parties where a significant number of people may attend on a regular basis. In the latter, the weight of the individuals in addition to the weight of the greater number of furniture means that the deck would need to be much stronger than in the former case.

The material used 

Many decks are made out of wood, but you can also design one out of other materials such as composites. Either way, your choice of material will always influence the strength of the deck. For a stronger, safer deck, you would be better off using hardwood if you decide to have it made of wood. This is especially in critical areas such as main support beams, which will bear significant weight from the deck. When using wood for the deck, it’s advisable to have it treated so that it doesn’t start rotting or being eaten by termites. This will gradually reduce the strength of the affected wood, resulting in collapse of the deck if not attended to urgently.

The experience of your deck contractor 

This is by far one of the most important factors influencing the final strength of your deck. During the design and construction of a deck, variables such as the distribution of force account for decisions such as how to align support beams, the types of material to use and how to use them. Using reliable deck contractors, you can rest assured that all these variables will have been assessed, and that the final product will be as sturdy as possible. This simply means that taking the time to find a deck contractor you can trust is well worth it.

DIY Methods To Remove Weeds From Interlocking Brick Driveways

Interlocking brick driveways are aesthetically pleasing options for driveways, and are usually easy to maintain as well. This explains their popularity in many parts of the country. One of the common problems people encounter with these driveways is dealing with weeds. These usually grow between the interlocking bricks, particularly if the driveway is aging and the mortar holding the bricks together is falling apart. When left in this state, the driveway could become an eyesore, particularly if the weeds grow noticeably tall. There are easy methods to get rid of the weeds, including:

Using plain salt 

Many people find that pouring plain salt between the bricks will deter the growth of any plants in the area. Part of the reason for this is that salt is highly hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs water from the surrounding soil and makes it less suitable for plant growth. The frequency of doing this should be customized; you may need to experiment for some time before finding the ideal duration of time before you can apply more salt between the bricks for long-term weed growth prevention.

Using fine sand 

It has also been found that the use of fine sand can inhibit the growth of weeds between the bricks. However, this is a technical procedure and there are steps to follow. First, one would need to get fine sand, such as the Magic Sand brand which can be found in many hardware stores across the countries. You can also buy some of it online. The sand is spread on the bricks, and then brushed so that it accumulates in the area between each brick. The sand is then wet using a hose which produces a fine mist, rather than torrential water. This makes it harden after some time, making it difficult for plants to grow between the bricks. This is a perfect method of weed growth prevention since its effects last long.

Using full-strength vinegar 

The use of full-strength vinegar to prevent weed growth is a cheap yet effective method of controlling the presence of weeds in the long term. Fortunately, this product is easy to find, and all you have to do is to pour it in the area between the bricks where the weeds grow. With time, they will wilt and die, and it will take a long time for them to grow again. This prevents the need for frequent weeding of the driveway.

Have the driveway sealed 

By far, the most effective way to prevent weed growth for the long term is by simply having the driveway sealed after interlock installation. By sealing the bricks, air and water are prevented from penetrating the surface of the driveway. Since plants need these elements in order to grow, the presence of the sealant ensures no plant growth at all. For best results, high quality sealant has to be used, and the correct skill has to be applied as well. This means that you have to consult a high-quality contractor for both the installation and sealing of the driveway.

Depending on various factors such as the rate of wear and environmental factors, pavement sealants may degrade over time. Your contractor should provide you with detailed information regarding the expected rate of degradation, so that you can know when to reseal the driveway. Typically, it takes years before this is necessary, particularly if high quality products and skill are used in the installation.

These are just a few of the methods of weed growth prevention you can use for your interlocking brick driveway. You can always rely on an experienced contractor to give you more information regarding this, so that you don’t have to keep removing the weeds on a regular basis.

3 Important Reasons Why It Is Necessary To Sealcoat Your Driveway

Sealcoating an asphalt pavement, driveway or parking lot is done for one main reason – to extend the lifespan of the surface. Considering driveway sealing in Markham is a wise move, as your driveway can deliver many stellar years of service, and the sealcoating contractor will help to reduce the rate of deterioration. All in all, you will find it worthwhile to apply a sealcoat to reduce on maintenance costs.

The value of a site or driveway is optimized by such work done to the asphalt pavement. In addition, you will decrease the limitations of the pavement which has the sealcoat applied over it. As it is well known, the bitumen mixture in most driveway construction is prone to certain limitations as poor compaction, excess voids and poor mix stability. With these weaknesses looming, you will find the sealcoat helpful in the following way:

Slowing down oxidation

Asphalt pavements provide very poor resistance to sunlight and UV rays. This in effect causes the asphalt to deteriorate due to oxidation. Its immediate exposure to the sun is enough to cause such effects as cracking almost immediately it is constructed. The aging of the asphalt pavement is therefore quickened. Anything you can do to reduce the oxidation prolongs the life of such a costly installation.

The secret is to slow down the oxidation before it goes to extensive lengths. According to experts, some oxidation of the asphalt is necessary, since the process involves a whole lot of oils that need oxidizing for the strength of the surface to increase. As the oils are released to the new environment, the surface becomes harder and harder, but if this goes on for too long, the asphalt becomes brittle and may crack very easily. A sealcoat will prevent this from taking place.

The oxidation process is responsible for creating a whole lot of mess on the surface. Apart from the brittle nature that can be created, you may also experience the release of fines, which exposes the aggregate in the mixture. With such exposure to traffic, the aggregate will easily pull out and eventually form cracks. If untreated, the cracks become larger and allow water beneath the pavement, and we all know what water does to asphalt when it is right beneath the pavement.

Sealcoating is a part of the overall protective system

Sealcoating is done as part of the larger process, and should not be overemphasized against the rest of the processes involved in laying out an asphalt pavement. The truth of the matter is that water will still find a way to sip through the asphalt if the pavement is not done well from the beginning. Water has a way of sipping through a place of lowest resistance, so any contractor needs to keep this in mind while working the process.

Sealcoating needs to be done as well to any pavement repairs as part of the maintenance process. Crack-sealing, for example needs to be properly filled out before the sealcoat is applied. It must be noted that the sealcoat is not a crack filler, and is never designed to do this.

The coating improves the aesthetical appearance

After sealcoating, the area will deliver a great aesthetical appearance for your pavement. If you are, for example, a store owner who has a parking lot, your customers will want to come to a place that looks inviting, with nicely done black and white stripped surfaces, that builds a good first impression about the kind of service you are ready to offer them. It is said that the first impression makes a big percentage of a customer’s perception of who you are, and the parking lot is the first symbol that will influence your customers’ perception of your store.

Common Causes Of A Retaining Wall Failure

No one likes to fix a mess left by others, but unfortunately, sometimes you just have to. Some homeowners will call up a contractor to deal with a poorly done landscaping job by an unqualified person. In correcting some of these issues, it may be a task as simple as switching from one plant mismatch to another preferable one; or it can be a daunting task, such as dealing with the effects of a retaining wall failure.

Some of the signs that show that a retaining wall is not functioning like it should be include when it leans outwards, or when it is bulging or shows some cracks. If the wall has totally collapsed, then you will be dealing with a whole new problem. However, you will always be able to see the sign before a total collapse takes place.  Before doing the repairs, you will need to establish the cause of the failure. Here are some of the causes:

Poor drainage of water

This is one of the most common causes of problematic retaining walls in Vaughan. Whenever excess water is allowed to saturate the soil held by a wall, without it being given a way out, it applies excess pressure on the wall. As we know, saturated soil has more weight than unsaturated soils, and if the wall has not been designed to hold such amounts of weight, then a problem will be easily caused.

Its prevention requires a solution to be created to lead water out of the area. A professional will advise the addition of a drainage system leading excess water out. Alternatively, regrading the soils can help redirect the flow of water, and hereby redirecting the pressure caused to a more pressure-resistant area. Landscapers also employ the use of crashed gravel to provide drainage so as to keep off saturated backfills.

Unanticipated pressure from sudden loads

It is important to have good communication between the landscaper and the homeowner as regard the use of every area around the compound. When this does not occur, for one reason or the other, the landscaper can end up building a retaining wall, having in mind a different use from what the homeowner intended. If for example, the homeowner intended the area over which a wall is built to be used as a parking, or to build a shed, and did not communicate this to the landscaper, we will expect to have a retaining wall that will be under excess pressure to retain the weight of the soil plus the overlaying activity.

Such walls need to be strengthened by transferring the shear force towards the base area of the wall. The footing of the base can be strengthened by placing concrete blocks to thicken the basement.

Issues with the foundation

The retaining wall, like any other structure, needs a strong foundation, and its neglect will be evidenced by cracks and eventually its collapse. The soil underneath it should be properly compacted in the construction process. This therefore requires proper site investigation, without which the contractor will be making an assumption concerning terrain and soil property.

The footing needs some adequate depth; deep enough to resist any weight presented by saturated soils. It also needs to go deeper than the frost line for obvious reasons. In order to increase the strength of the footing, concrete can be used to a certain depth. For those retaining walls that need to go really high, landscapers decide to regrade the surface, hereby decreasing the average height of the wall.

Though most of the issues caused have a lot to do with planning and doing a good foundation, it should also be noted that a proper wall needs to be built. The right ratios of cement, sand and water in the motor mixture needs to be done to keep the wall stronger for longer.