Kansas City Retaining Walls, A retaining wall is a structure designed and constructed to resist the lateral pressure of soil when there is a desired change in ground elevation that exceeds the angle of repose of the soil.[1]


A basement wall is thus one kind of retaining wall. But the term usually refers to a cantilever retaining wall, which is a freestanding structure without lateral support at its top.[2] These are cantilevered from a footing and rise above the grade on one side to retain a higher level grade on the opposite side. The walls must resist the lateral pressures generated by loose soils or, in some cases, water pressures.[3]


Every retaining wall Kansas City supports a “wedge” of soil. The wedge is defined as the soil which extends beyond the failure plane of the soil type present at the wall site, and can be calculated once the soil friction angle is known. As the setback of the wall increases, the size of the sliding wedge is reduced. This reduction lowers the pressure on the retaining wall. [4]


The most important consideration in proper design and installation of retaining walls is to recognize and counteract the tendency of the retained material to move downslope due to gravity. This creates lateral earth pressure behind the wall which depends on the angle of internal friction (phi) and the cohesive strength (c) of the retained material, as well as the direction and magnitude of movement the retaining structure undergoes.


Lateral earth pressures are zero at the top of the wall and - in homogenous ground - increase proportionally to a maximum value at the lowest depth. Earth pressures will push the wall forward or overturn it if not properly addressed. Also, any groundwater behind the wall that is not dissipated by a drainage system causes hydrostatic pressure on the wall. The total pressure or thrust may be assumed to act at one-third from the lowest depth for lengthwise stretches of uniform height. [5]


Unless the wall is designed to retain water, It is important to have proper drainage behind the wall in order to limit the pressure to the wall's design value. Drainage materials will reduce or eliminate the hydrostatic pressure and improve the stability of the material behind the wall. Drystone retaining walls are normally self-draining.


As an example, the International Building Code requires Kansas City retaining walls installation to be designed to ensure stability against overturning, sliding, excessive foundation pressure and water uplift; and that they be designed for a safety factor of 1.5 against lateral sliding and overturning.[6]


A retaining wall provides advantages such as preventing damage by soil falling or sliding away from a foundation. This can preserve ground area on the property or even add to it. A homeowner can choose from a variety of materials to build a retaining wall and use it as part of an overall landscaping plan to enhance the appearance of the property.



Kansas City Retaining wall construction is an exact science that requires specific data to be designed and built. All dimensions and materials have to be determined based on each specific physical settings and critical geological information that can only be obtained, respectively from a topographic survey and from a soil report. — If you do not have these required steps already taken, we can help you by handling the geo and structural engineering for you.  These two steps alone may cost at least a couple of thousands of dollars!



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