Concrete masonry retaining walls are the best looking and longest lasting of all retaining walls. This is because CMUs come in such a wide variety of textures and colors, and can also be painted, sealed with stucco, or enhanced with a veneer of rock, stone, brick or other materials. The properties of the blocks themselves allows for the creation of beautiful, enduring retaining walls.
A CMU, or Concrete Masonry Unit, includes the well-known “cinder block” and many other variations, as shown, though not including “cement bricks”. Concrete bricks are not hollow, thereby limiting reinforcement during construction. CMU’s are standard rectangular cast concrete blocks made of cement, aggregate and sand. These blocks are stacked (normally with mortar) to create the retaining wall, and are easy to install. They’re fireproof, durable and require little to no maintenance.
Reinforced steel bars (rebar) are often integrated into the CMUs during construction to add strength. This reinforcement improves the wall’s strength and weight-bearing capacity.
Concrete blocks come in various sizes and shapes making it possible to engineer retaining walls to suit your design preferences and landscape. Solid concrete blocks, such as “paver blocks” limit reinforcement possibilities, and as a result may not be recommended for certain situations. Xpress Engineering does not currently offer designs for retaining walls built with solid concrete (aka “paver”) blocks or bricks.
CMU walls are normally built on top of a poured concrete foundation. The blocks are cemented onto the foundation and then onto one another. Staggered vertical joints give the retaining wall added strength. Cap blocks are generally used to finish the top of the wall.
Learn more about Xpress Engineering’s affordable Engineering Retaining Wall Designs for CMU Block Retaining Walls or Request a Retaining Wall Design for your own project.
Improve your outdoor living along with the value of your property with a block retaining wall. We specialize in engineering beautiful retaining walls that should last a lifetime. Give us a call.