What’s the Purpose of a Retaining Wall?

In simple terms, a retaining wall is a wall that holds back soil. Although it sounds like a simple concept, they’re actually sophisticated structural features. They’ve been in use for hundreds of years to improve the functionality, productivity, and aesthetics of properties across Maryland. Take a closer look at the functions of retaining walls and situations they are needed. 

What the purpose of a retaining wall


There are multiple functions for retaining walls. Some of them include: 

Create a Flat Area

Flat ground is usually more useful than steeply sloped terrain. Retaining walls can be used to convert a slope into flat ground. The flat area then allows for the construction of anything that couldn’t be built on sloped land, such as a parking lot, building, swimming pool, storage shed, patio, etc.

Improve Drainage

Oftentimes, property owners have retaining walls installed to redirect water. No matter if you want to redirect stormwater away from your property or into a body of water, a retaining wall is very helpful. If you are considering creating a retaining wall for this purpose, remember to check your local building codes and property rules.

Simplify Maintenance

It’s easier to maintain a flat area than pruning, mowing, or planting on a slope. Retaining walls also create a natural separation between slopes and flower beds. Property owners who build a retaining wall to simplify maintenance can expect to save on landscaping costs.

What is the purpose of a retaining wall

When Do You Need a Retaining Wall? 

Now that you know some of the functions of retaining walls, here a few instances where installing a retaining wall is a good idea:

To Control Downhill Erosion

Retaining walls minimize erosion by decreasing the angle of a slope and holding back the soil. So, if eroded materials are clogging important areas on your property, a retaining wall is the perfect solution.

When Your Property is Downhill From Soil Fault Lines

A professional landscaper will recommend installing a retaining wall if your property is downhill from soil fault lines. Even if erosion isn’t an immediate threat, it soon could be. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornados are all natural events that can cause soil to slide towards your property. Installing a retaining wall provides both stability and peace of mind.

When Your Foundation is Threatened by a Sliding Hill

Erosion can threaten your home’s foundation. If the soil around your property is washing away due to a downward slope or compacting due to an upward slope, a retaining wall can help. A retaining wall is cheaper than paying to regularly repair the foundation. 

What is the purpose of a retaining wall?

Retaining Walls Done Right

If you need retaining walls installed on your property, let Vin’s Total Care Landscaping do it for you. We handle commercial and residential landscaping in MD, and our experts have years of experience building high-quality retaining walls. Contact us now to request a free estimate. 


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-Carmina Price

Vin's Total Care Landscaping LLC, Landscape Contractors, Catonsville, MD

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