Retention Walls in Houston Texas

Retaining walls, also known as retaining ditches, are very thick concrete walls used in lieu of retaining wall blocks for retaining soil on both sides of a sidewalk or street so it can be maintained laterally. We spoke with a top concrete contractor in Houston Tx to help us with some of this information.  A retaining wall is typically constructed to include a sloping top, and a parallel retaining wall running the full width of the sidewalk or street. Retaining walls provide numerous benefits such as: safety, aesthetic, and structural support. Here are some concrete repair tips you should consider when working on retaining walls:

o Safety. In the event of an earthquake, flooding, or other natural disaster, retaining walls can help retain the area in front of your home, eliminate runoff potential risks, and provide extra safety for walking and vehicle maintenance. In the unfortunate event of a collapse, retaining walls can catch runoff water, which then can run down the sides of your home. Additionally, certain types of retaining walls may have inadequate structural support or other defects that could cause an accident. Landscape architecture experts recommend including a retaining wall as part of your landscape design.

o Ease of maintenance. Since a retaining wall will usually be built to accommodate an incline, the landscape architect will design the retaining wall in a way that allows it to perform sturdily against both downhill and uphill forces. Most importantly, the contractor will build a system of tiebacks, or fascia, to anchor the soil surface underneath the retaining wall. Tiesbacks are typically made from a mix of wood and plastic. Because tiesbacks function as a pressure surface, sturdiness is enhanced by the addition of sturdier ground surface under the retaining wall.

o Gravity Wall. Most homeowners know that concrete is not the ideal material for constructing a retaining wall. Concrete slabs are heavy and difficult to load, and once loaded requires extensive digging to set concrete into position. In contrast, a gravity wall is constructed with a base of polyethylene plastic. Using gravity as a tool, a builder builds a wall on top of a soft, pliable layer of plastic. Unlike concrete, the slabs of a gravity wall do not need to be poured, and once firmly in place, requires very little additional work such as leveling.

o Timber Bearing Timber Footings. Timber bearing timber footings are installed where the retaining wall will be placed on the property. Traditionally, the footings were made using timber planks that were nailed to concrete slabs. Today, synthetic timber is preferred because it provides the same visual appeal but doesn’t sacrifice strength and sturdiness.

o Timber Surrounding Walls. Surrounding walls may consist of concrete plates or steel beams, and they perform the same structural function as the concrete walls. Traditionally, concrete was used in large structures such as dams or water towers, but advances in technology have paved the way for composite wall systems that are equally durable and long-lasting. The metal beams often referred to as surcharge loads are installed where the wall will meet the exterior slab, and they provide the foundation for the superstructure.

o Reinforced Concrete Block Walls. A concrete block wall is a wall that is constructed from steel ribs that are embedded in a concrete base, and they can add significant strength to the walls while also providing a beautiful, natural appearance. Block walls are normally square, but some companies now manufacture customized designs that are designed to meet the specifications of each project. For example, the thickness of the concrete masonry blocks may vary, and in some cases, materials other than block may be used such as wood, stone or plastic. This flexibility makes block walls a popular choice for both retrofit applications and for new structures such as decks and porches.

o Stucco. While stucco blocks are not technically structural in nature, their appearance can help to disguise many issues with a failing retaining wall. Often the application of stucco improves the overall look of the structure by blending in with surrounding landscape features, and it provides an additional barrier against erosion and other damage. Different colors are available for stucco, and the varying levels of pigmentation provide designers with an endless palette of options for their decorative applications. Because stucco is waterproof, it is an excellent choice for retaining walls made of materials that are subject to weathering such as brick, limestone or concrete.

How To Make Concrete?

Making concrete is a straightforward process where it is just a mixture of paste and aggregates or rocks. The paste will be composed of cement and water and coats the surface of small and coarse aggregates.

Through hydration, a chemical reaction that provides strength and hardens the paste, it forms the rock-like mass called concrete.

How To Make Concrete?

Usage of plastic and others

Inclusion of plastic and others

Plastic and durable are solid and stable when newly mixed and hardened. This is why concrete is used to build skyscrapers, sidewalks, bridges and superhighways, dams, and houses.

Proportions

The main focus of the mixture is to make it solid and durable, while the rest is to proportionate and mix the ingredients carefully. Unfortunately, the mixture doesn’t have enough paste, which can fill the voids between the aggregates.

Cement

Cement’s picture comes here in the presence of water. Water and cement form a part, and it acts like the coated particle of stone and sand(the aggregates). Through hydration which is a chemical reaction, the paste hardens and gains strength.

The quality of the paste determines the character of the concrete. The strength of it will depend on the ratio of water to cement. The weight of the mixing water is the water-cement divided by the weight of the cement. Typically, the mix always about 10 to 15% cement, 60 to 75% aggregate, and 15 to 20% water.

Other ingredients

Almost all the natural water is drinkable, odorless, and tasteless, which may be used to mix water for concrete. The mixture has specifications that usually set limits on sulfates, alkalis, chloride, and also solids in mixing water unless it determines the impurity that has on the final concrete. Suppose we add more pollutants while combining them with water. In that case, it’ll not only affect setting time and the strength of concrete but also causes staining, erosion of reinforcement, efflorescence, and also reduces durability. All these things matter when working with the proper concrete contractor. Our friends at Bakersfield Concrete Contractors understand what a mix can do to something like a foundation or even if you’re just pouring regular stamped concrete. 

Hydration process

After all the ingredients are found, aggregates, water, and cement are combined. That is when the mixture starts getting hard. All cement is hydraulic cement that gets more complicated with water in the process of hydration. When a  node is formed, and it grows and expands until it is linked with the nodes from other cement particles or to any adjacent aggregates.

Special techniques can be used for the concrete to cure during hot and cold weather, which can protect the concrete. The rate of hardness and stronger the concrete becomes if you keep the concrete moist for a more extended period.