Does your property need a retaining wall to deal with extreme changes in the grade of your land? If it does, your wall needs proper drainage. Why? Because the right drainage solution allows water to flow underneath the wall while preventing water from building up beneath it. Let’s look at ways to install retaining wall drainage effectively.
Retaining walls hold soil back to shape the ground to fit your outdoor designs. The soil within the wall absorbs water from rainfall and groundwater, among other sources. If you don’t drain the water in the soil behind the wall, the wall will break. A drainage system consisting of perforated pipes, filter fabric, and drainage stone drains the water and keeps the wall intact. This type of drainage system is necessary for retaining walls under the following circumstances:
- The wall is four feet high or taller: Walls four feet or taller can cause significant damage if they fail, so it’s best to install drainage behind a retaining wall of this height or taller.
- The soil consists of or contains clay: Clay does not drain well and becomes extremely weak when wet. A drainage system removes water from the clay soil behind your wall to ensure it stays in place.
- The wall is built with concrete or cinder blocks: These materials don’t have any natural joints that allow water to flow through them. A drainage system prevents water from building up and causing the soil to burst through the concrete or cinder block retaining wall.
- The wall is at or near the bottom of a hill: Water naturally flows and drains downhill through soil. If a retaining wall sits at or near the bottom of a hill, that water will pool there. A drainage system removes the water that flows downhill so it doesn’t affect the soil’s or wall’s placement.
- The wall is located near water sources: These sources include groundwater; surface water, such as water from nearby downspouts; and buried water sources, including water mains and irrigation lines. A drainage system can remove water from these sources so the soil behind the wall drains properly.
- The retaining wall is terraced or tiered: Sometimes, retaining walls can create tiered or terraced spaces for plants, steps, or other installations. In these cases, drainage systems keep water from flowing from the higher terrace or tier to the lower one.
Perforated pipe systems have slots on each pipe that allow the water to drain from the soil into the pipe. Then the water flows through the pipe to an outlet in or near the wall. Once the water reaches the pipe outlet, it flows away from the wall. Pipe outlets can emerge from the wall’s face or a space underneath the wall. Overall, the pipe connects to outlets that carry the water away from the soil behind the wall as safely as possible.
Hydraway is an improvement over traditional perforated pipe systems in outdoor drainage installations because it’s simpler to transport and install. It also allows water to flow over 70% of soil’s drainage surface, so it passes through the soil and flows away from it more quickly than it would in a traditional perforated pipe system. Instead of having large perforated pipes with slots on the sides, our systems use smaller, needle-punctured pipes. The pipes are thermally bonded to a polyethylene core that prevents clogging and salt buildup. Hydraway’s systems ultimately drain more water than traditional perforated pipe systems do. They also take up less space and operate more smoothly than most perforated pipe systems.
If you need to install retaining walls on your clients’ commercial or residential property, use Hydraway to drain the soil behind the wall effectively. Our drainage systems provide the effective drainage you need to install retaining walls safely. Our systems also help the walls stay intact, no matter how much water the soils behind them absorb.