Retaining Walls on Long Island

Retaining WallRetaining walls are often the backbone of a landscape. Their strength can retain mountains of earth and increase the functional space of your property. Other functions retaining wall blocks can provide include seat walls, steps, and elevating brick paver patios, elevating your views over your yard like a wood deck, but without the maintenance. With properly chosen materials your retaining walls can complement your home and existing landscape.

But many retaining walls are not for the do-it-yourselfer. Believe it or not, people have been killed by poorly constructed walls. Most often the construction flaws are behind a wall, where no amount of study of the exterior of an existing wall would help a handy homeowner. Hydrostatic pressure is the most common enemy, and only a contractor experienced in block wall construction and mitigating that pressure should be considered for your project.

Most often, hydrostatic pressure does it's damage not in the winter, but in the spring and fall, when daytime temperatures are in the 40's, but nighttime temperatures are below freezing. Water trapped behind a wall melts during the day and trickles deep behind a wall until it stops where it no longer has room to move. Overnight the water cools enough to freeze, expanding and exerting pressure on the retaining wall. That pressure moves the wall a fraction of a millimeter that night. But the next day, the water melts again, and settles a little deeper behind your wall, and when it freezes overnight, moves the wall another fraction of a millimeter. After a year, your wall has been moved an inch. But because your retaining wall is now weakened, the process is much faster. Year two your wall moves 2 inches, and the third year it might move 4. Soon your retaining wall (whether made from concrete block, or from limestone or some other natural stone, like the one pictured here) is leaning so far forward that gravity just pulls it down.

Skilled retaining wall installers know to build your wall to quickly wick water out from behind your wall so it can't do any damage. At Genesis Landscaping, we have that skill. Whether we're using materials manufactured locally (such as Nicolock retaining wall and pavers - see their design center 275 East Sunrise Highway, Lindenhurst NY, 11757), or from materials quarried from far away, we can serve every retaining wall need in Nassau county on Long Island.

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