What kind of retaining wall will last the longest?
Posted On March 16, 2023
Retaining walls are a great choice to provide structural support to sloping sites and turn them into more usable space. As well, they do some heavy work in the garden by providing flood and erosion control. They need to be strong and extremely durable to provide the structural support that your outdoor area needs and to hold up under pressure.
Of course, it goes without saying that when you’ve invested time, money and effort into installing a retaining wall, you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible. And the material you choose to create your retaining wall from will have a significant effect on just how long your wall will last. Here are your options.
There are a wide variety of concrete block choices available, and you can create straight or curved walls in a huge variety of styles and finishes. Concrete block retaining walls do more than just look good, however – they are extraordinarily durable, and will reliably create an extremely long-lasting and stable structure.
In the right conditions and when installed correctly, they can often last for a century or more. When you want a retaining wall that will last your lifetime (or longer), concrete blocks are an outstanding choice.
Stone, being a naturally strong and sturdy product, will also last a long time in a retaining wall. Natural Stone usually blends well with the landscape and obviously will look very natural, and is a very reliable product. However, it’s also one of the most expensive wall-building materials around, so your durability will come at a steep cost.
Timber retaining walls can also look very natural and attractive, but in terms of durability, it’s far from your best option. Timber can be vulnerable to termites, and once termites get a hold, your retaining wall’s days are numbered. As well, timber is obviously not as strong as concrete or stone, so the wall will not be as sturdy and durable and will eventually rot away.
Timber retaining walls are higher on maintenance too, and will need to be treated regularly for outdoor use to make them last as long as possible. If your priority is a long-lasting retaining wall, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Poured concrete, being a solid product, is a little more dense than concrete blocks, giving it a slight edge in strength over a concrete block retaining wall. However, it may be lacking a bit in durability in comparison, as the concrete can be susceptible to cracking and somewhat prone to chemical damage without some kind of structural support like steel rods.
Bricks are another good choice for a long lasting and durable retaining wall, and can last for 50 to 100 years with good quality construction. They can’t match concrete or stone in terms of strength, but despite this they are certainly reasonably durable.
What’s the best choice for durability?
There are a number of good choices here, but when it comes down to return on investment, you really can’t go past a concrete block retaining wall. It comes with all the benefits of great strength and durability, without the cost of similarly performing products like stone.
Have a look at the highest quality range of concrete block retaining wall products that will last and last here: