Retaining walls are an excellent way to add value to your property. They are also a popular choice for homeowners who want to build their own homes without hiring a professional builder. However, there are several factors that affect the strength and durability of retaining walls.

In this article, we will discuss these factors and give you some tips on how to ensure that your retaining wall lasts for years to come.

1. The type of soil in which the retaining wall is built

The type of soil in which the retaining wall is built can have a huge impact on its longevity. For example, if the soil is sandy or clay-like, it tends to be more porous than other types of soil. This means that water can easily seep into the ground around the base of the wall. Waterlogged soil has a tendency to expand as it absorbs moisture. As a result, the wall may crack at the joints between blocks or even collapse entirely.

On the other hand, if the soil is well-drained, then it won’t absorb much water and it will remain stable over time. In addition, the wall will not expand as much because the soil does not contain any air pockets.

2. How the retaining wall is constructed

There are two main ways in which retaining walls are built: with concrete blocks or by using precast panels.

Concrete block is a traditional method of building retaining walls. It is made up of individual blocks, which are stacked together to form the wall. These blocks are usually made from cement, sand, gravel, and stone. Although they are relatively easy to construct, they require a lot of manpower and equipment.

Precast panels are another option when constructing retaining walls. Precast panels are manufactured in factories before being shipped to construction sites. These panels are often made from reinforced concrete, but they can also be made from brick or stone 3. The height of the wall

When choosing materials for a retaining wall, it is important to consider the height of the wall. If the wall is too high, it will make the house appear smaller and less attractive. On the other hand, if the wall is too low, it could cause problems such as flooding or erosion.

4. The width of the wall

Another factor to take into consideration when selecting materials for a retaining wall is the width of the wall. A wide wall requires more material than a narrow one. Therefore, it is best to choose a size that is appropriate for your needs.

5. The location of the wall

If the retaining wall is located near a road, it should be placed so that it doesn’t create any traffic hazards. Also, keep in mind that the wall should be designed so that it doesn’t interfere with the flow of water away from the foundation of the house.

6. The slope of the land

A retaining wall should always be installed on sloped land. This ensures that water flows smoothly away from the foundation of the house.

7. The design of the wall

It is essential to select a design that suits your needs. For instance, if you plan to use the wall as a privacy screen, you need to decide whether you would like the wall to be solid or transparent. Solid walls tend to look better than transparent ones, but they are harder to install.

8. The number of courses

You must also determine how many courses of blocks you need to construct the wall. You can either build a single course or multiple courses. Multiple courses allow you to increase the height of the wall, while single courses do not.

9. The thickness of the blocks

Blocks used in retaining walls should be thick enough to withstand heavy loads. However, they should not be too thick, or else they will become difficult to handle.

10. The quality of the mortar

The quality of the mortar used in the wall affects its overall strength and durability. Poorly mixed mortar may crack over time.

11. The type of wall

Depending on where you live, you may have to choose between different types of retaining walls. Concrete block walls are suitable for areas that experience extreme weather conditions. However, they are expensive to maintain.

12. The cost of the wall

Finally, you need to consider the cost of the wall. There are many factors that contribute to the price of a retaining wall. Some of them include the amount of labor required to complete the project; the length of the wall; the type of soil; and the availability of building supplies.


There are many factors that influence the durability of retaining walls. By following the above-mentioned guidelines, you can help ensure that your retaining wall lasts for years to come.

Retaining walls are a common feature in many homes and businesses around the country. If you live in Salem Oregon and need a retaining wall installed, contact us today! Our team of experts at Retaining Walls Salem Oregon has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry and our workmanship is second to none. We pride ourselves on being able to deliver quality products and services at competitive prices. Contact us today and get your free estimate!