Your Quick Guide to Retaining Walls: Basics and Benefits

A retaining wall is a structure that’s made from concrete blocks. As the name suggests, it serves to stabilise soil from a higher-lying area and prevents movement of the soil onto the lower-lying area. It can also act as an aesthetically pleasing planting space that enables you to maximise the space usage for greening purposes.

Have a look at our range of concrete retaining blocks (CRBs) to get an idea of the quality and types available.

The Main functions of a retaining wall include, but are not limited to:

  • Keeps higher-lying soil and rocks behind the wall from movement.
  • Prevents soil erosion related to water run-off.
  • Prevents land and mudslides related to water run-off during heavy rains.
  • Creates a semi-vertical and terraced planting space.
  • Creates a landscaped feature at a pond.
  • Improves drainage and provides for a more predictable water flow path.

These are permanent structures, which require little maintenance. Unlike many other types of boundary structures, which require paint or a protective coat to prevent premature decay, the building blocks are made from concrete. This means you don’t have to paint or add a protective layer to prolong the aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of the blocks.

Building Blocks for Retaining Walls

Unlike a conventional brick and mortar structure, where cement is used to connect the bricks and prevent movement once it has hardened, with this type of structure interlocking concrete blocks are used. Closed and open-faced types are available.

With the hollow centre design, the soil is placed into the centre of each block. The soil forms the growth medium for flowers or other types of plants. The blocks are stacked on top of each other in a specific pattern and angle to create the desired structure. These blocks can be interlocked, adding to the stability of the structure and eliminating the need to use concrete mix for connection and stabilisation.

Main Reasons to Install a Retaining Wall

If your garden slopes down, it means you have less usable space. It’s hardly possible to enjoy a barbecue in a sloped area. Likewise, it’s difficult to play ball or enjoy other outdoor activities in the sloped area. To make the space more usable, you can create terraces. Unfortunately, normal sloped terraces don’t do much for keeping water run-off from causing soil erosion. With these types of structures, you’re able to create well-defined, safe and attractive terraces while ensuring good drainage and preventing soil erosion.

These types of terraces work well in residential and commercial settings alike. Whether you want to add more usable space at a corporate park, shopping centre or school, or want to improve the aesthetic appeal of your garden, these structures are the solution.

With the increased space through terraces and improved garden aesthetics, you’re able to improve the kerb appeal of the property. In turn, this can give you the desired return on your property investment should you wish to sell it.

Where to Buy the Materials

It’s imperative to purchase the blocks from a reputable supplier in South Africa. The structural integrity of the wall depends on the quality of materials, choice of blocks to meet the location and purpose requirements, and correct installation procedures.

By purchasing the materials from a supplier with a proven track record of quality product supply from 1995 for large and complex projects, you’re one step closer to achieving the goal of building a solid, durable and functional retaining wall.

MVA Bricks in Pretoria meets the requirement as a supplier that specialises in the provision of SABS-approved concrete blocks for building retaining walls. We offer expert guidance in the selection of the materials, the quantity required and installation guidelines. Pricing is competitive, with deliveries offered throughout Gauteng. You can also purchase sand, kerbs, paving blocks and related materials from us. Visit us at 602 Roger Dyason Road in Pretoria or reach out online for a quote and product information