How Do You Build A Retaining Wall With Interlocking Concrete Blocks?

How Do You Build A Retaining Wall With Interlocking Concrete Blocks?

How Do You Build A Retaining Wall With Interlocking Concrete Blocks?

Many materials may be used to construct retaining walls, but interlocking blocks are particularly popular due to their stunning simplicity and relative ease of construction.

Cast concrete interlocking blocks are particularly designed for creating block retaining walls.

Here’s how to make a retaining wall out of interlocking concrete blocks;

Draw A Plan And Dig A Trench.

Mark the position for the retaining wall with pegs and twine. Strings should be used to delineate the rear edge of the retaining wall.

Dig a trench twice the width of the blocks from front to back. For a compatible gravel sub-base, the trench depth should be equivalent to the height of a single block + 3 inches.

Create The Foundation

Take your time with this step since a strong, level foundation layer is critical to the integrity of the wall.

To check for level, rake the bottom of the trench with a long carpenters’ level. Then, using a hand tamper, compress the dirt firmly. Next, add a 2-inch layer of compactible gravel to the trench’s bottom.

Rake it smooth, check for level, and compact it with a hand tamper. Check for level again, add another 1-inch layer, rake it smooth, and tamp once more.

Lay The Foundation Blocks

Remove the back lips from the blocks that will form the bottom layer of the wall with a hammer and masonry chisel.

Arrange the prepared blocks in the trench’s bottom, making that the front edges of the blocks match your intended plan. Begin in the center of the wall and work your way out.

Adjust the blocks as needed by tapping them with a rubber mallet. Use a staked string line to keep the edges of the blocks aligned on straight walls.

Check with a carpenters’ level every few blocks to ensure the route is absolutely level from left to right and front to rear.

If you’re working with a side-to-side slope that necessitates a tiered trench, make sure the block courses line up properly as the wall increases.

Establish Subsequent Courses

Begin the second course in the center of the wall, with the first block centered over a junction in the bottom base course.

This is known as a “running bond,” which guarantees the wall’s integrity by preventing vertical joints from overlapping. The block’s back lip should overhang and just touch the back of the previous row.

From the middle, proceed to the left and right. Check that each block is moved forward such that the rear lip hits the blocks beneath. Continue for each block course until you reach the cap layer.

Cut Blocks As Needed

You may need to cut or break some blocks to complete the ends of the row at the ends of alternating courses.

Splitting can be accomplished by gently scoring the top of a block with a broad masonry chisel and hammer, gradually deepening the score until the block cleaves along the scored line.

To cut the block, use a circular saw with a diamond blade for a smoother cut. The best approach to cut blocks is generally to make a succession of cuts at progressively deeper blade depths.

If the wall needs to make a sharp angle, cut the blocks at a 45-degree angle where the wall changes direction. The miter’s cut faces may be put together using exterior-grade concrete adhesive.

Mark, Cut, And Install Caps

The top course is constructed with specific cap bricks, typically thinner than the wall blocks. Install the caps so that the fronts overhang the underlying blocks by about 1 inch.

To secure them, apply exterior-grade concrete adhesive. For curved walls, the cap blocks must be cut along the sides to fit the radius of the wall.

Install Landscape Fabric

Although this step is occasionally skipped, it is a good idea to line the rear of the trench behind the retaining wall with landscaping fabric.

This will keep dirt from washing through the fill gravel and clogging the seams between the blocks.

Cut landscape fabric into strips and drape them over the wall blocks, the bottom of the trench, and the dirt behind the wall.

Backfill The Retaining Wall

Drainage gravel should be placed in the excavation behind the wall. The gravel is put within the landscape fabric if it has been lined.

Tamp as you go to ensure that there are no gaps. Ideally, there should be at least several inches of drainage gravel between the wall and the soil bank.

During heavy rains, the drainage gravel allows rainwater to flow through the spaces between the blocks rather of backing up and putting pressure on the wall.


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