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Wall Q&A

Questions & Answers


What makes Grinnell Retaining Walls the best choice?

What is a retaining wall course?

What is a base?

How do I prepare my base?

Do I really have to bury the first course?

Should I start my retaining wall below the frost line?

What do I use to backfill my wall?

How high can I build my wall?

What is reinforcement?

Can wall systems be used to create raised patio area?

How far apart should I place my walls when building a terrace?

What do I use to adhere the caps on my retaining wall?

Can I park cars in an area above a retaining wall?

When should I involve an engineer in the design of my wall?




What makes Grinnell Retaining Walls the best choice?

The Grinnell Wall System design eliminates the need for pins and mortar. The rear lip guides the block into place and allows you to easily add the next course to our wall, knowing exactly how far the stone needs to be setback from the one below it.

What is a retaining wall course?
It is the horizontal layer of blocks used to build a wall.

What is a base?
It is the area in which you will lay your first course of block.We suggest using our compactible crushed stone as a base for this application.

How do I prepare my base?
Lay 6" of compactible crushed stone in the bottom of the trench and compact.We recommend using a hand tamper to compact.

Do I really have to bury the first course?
Yes. Compacting the base and burying and leveling the first course are necessary for a long-lasting, stable wall.

Should I start my retaining wall below the frost line?
No. Unlike a rigid retaining wall, Grinnell wall systems are flexible structures and can accommodate movement caused by changing temperatures and even settlement without cracking or other types of distress.

What do I use to backfill my wall?

The first 6"- 12" behind the wall should be backfilled with 3/4" aggregate stone, this will help relieve any hydrostatic pressure that might build up.

How high can I build my wall?
It depends on the type of stone you are selecting.
• Border Stone is 12" or four courses*.
• Windsor Stone is 20" or six courses*.
• 3" Highland is 31/2' or 16 courses*.
• 6" Highland & Diamond is 31/2' or 8 courses*.
• Monmouth Wall Stone can be built up to 2'.
*These height measurements include the recommended buried base courses. Be sure to check local ordinances when building a wall above the recommended height restriction.

What is reinforcement?
Also know as geogrid, it is made from hightensile strength polypropylene. Its function is to stabilize the soil mass behind the retaining wall and ties the wall face to the earth being retained. The height of the wall being constructed, the soil properties, and any pressure on the wall all affect the length and placement of the geogrid.

Can wall systems be used to create raised patio area?
Yes. They are an excellent choice for adding dimension and usable space to outdoor living areas.Wall systems can encase and support the gravel required to bring the raised area to the desired height. These systems also allow you to easily incorporate steps into raised patios.

How far apart should I place my walls when building a terrace?
A general rule of thumb is to take your wall height and double it. This will give you the distance needed between walls. For example, if your wall is 2' high, the next wall should be installed at least 4' behind the first one to make sure that you are in solid ground to build your next wall. The nice thing about terracing is that it breaks up the sheerness of the wall and allows for beautiful planting areas.

What do I use to adhere the caps on my retaining wall?
Use a high strength, flexible concrete adhesive, such as Paver Bond, to affix your wall caps.

Can I park cars in an area above a retaining wall?
Yes. These walls are frequently used to support parking areas. However, the wall should be engineered and typically requires the use of geogrid. Vehicles should not park closer than three feet from the back of the wall.

When should I involve an engineer in the design of my wall?
We recommend the use of a licensed engineer on projects with taller walls (above 4') or with unusual site conditions (steep slope, parking lot etc.). Local building codes may also necessitate the use of a licensed engineer for walls above a certain height.
 
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