If you want to install a retaining wall in your garden, then you might not be able to choose between anchored or gravity builds. How do these retaining walls work? Which one should you use in your garden?
What Is a Gravity Retaining Wall?
Gravity retaining walls use their height and weight to hold sloped areas of ground in a fixed position. So, for example, if you have a slope in your garden, then you simply build a gravity wall in front of it.
Here, the height of the wall and the weight of its materials hold the earth firmly in place. The wall doesn't typically need any extra structural support. It should be able to do a retaining job on its own.
What Is an Anchored Retaining Wall?
Anchored retaining walls often look similar to gravity walls; however, they are constructed differently. They incorporate extra support.
So, for example, anchored walls are often installed into a secure concrete base. This base anchors the wall and gives it extra stability.
However, this base isn't necessarily enough to secure the wall on its own. So, these walls also have extra cables or wires running through them. These cables or wires anchor to the supporting base and then go up through the wall at key points to secure it to its base.
Which Wall Should You Use?
Gravity retaining walls are usually cheaper to build than anchored alternatives. They have a less complex build that uses fewer materials and takes less time.
However, you can't really base your decision here on price alone. If the area you need to hold back isn't suitable for a gravity wall, then the wall might not be able to take the weight of the earth behind it. It might fail.
Typically, gravity retaining walls work best if the weight of the earth behind them doesn't exceed their standing holding weight. They are a good choice if your slope isn't too pronounced, too high or too heavy.
If you need a taller wall that has to bear more weight, then an anchored build is a better option. These walls have additional strength running through their base and core. So, they can manage heavier weights without breaking or moving out of place.
Plus, this additional support structure also has some cosmetic benefits. Gravity walls need to be relatively thick. You might lose some garden space to fit in a wide enough structure to hold back your slope's earth.
However, anchored walls can be slimmer. Their built-in extra support enables walls with even a thin profile to hold back more materials.
For more advice, contact a retaining wall contractor and ask them to look at your project site. They can help you choose which wall to use.