How Many Pounds Can A Retaining Wall Generally Hold?

All retaining walls have the same goal: to keep soil behind them. However, depending on the project, the precise requirements can vary. Small landscape stone walls to surround a garden to massive soil-retaining schemes along a highway are both examples of walls. Others may assist in the control of erosion caused by heavy rains or the development of a terraced yard to minimize maintenance. When you first start preparing, there are a few things to bear in mind that will impact the material and form of wall you create. We’ll take a look at four of them below.


The soil that forms the foundation, or base, must be tested to ensure that it is solid enough to support the wall. The type, bearing capacity (soil’s ability to support a load), stress parameters, and friction angle (resistance to movement) of the soil used for the foundation and reinforced zone, as well as the retained soil zone, should all be determined.

The base soil should be firm, solid, and strong in general, and it should not be damp. Infilling wet soils, such as clay soil, is also not recommended. They’re still wet, so any extra moisture won’t be able to get through to the drainage channels. Wet soil can also expand and contract in freezing temperatures, causing damage to the wall. Sandier soils, on the other hand, allow for better drainage. Examine the geotechnical report for information on on-site soils, vast soils, weak chemical properties, groundwater levels, and more.


Make sure you have a clear understanding of property boundaries, as well as both above ground and underground infrastructure, such as stormwater drainage systems and irrigation, before deciding on a position for your wall.


Given that water is the most common cause of retaining wall failure, it’s important to ensure that your wall has good drainage and that there will be no water accumulation behind it. Determine possible surface water sources and ensure that drainage adjacent to the wall site is taken into account. To reduce the amount of hydrostatic pressure generated by groundwater, grade the site for drainage patterns and install a drainage system behind the wall. Backfilling with gravel, using drain pipes, and using “weep” holes to allow water to pass through the wall are all examples of drainage systems. A hydrology review should be conducted on larger wall programs, such as those for transportation.


To begin the design, you’ll need to find out the corresponding wall heights, footprint sizes, slopes, and setback angle, all of which are influenced by the site elevation and grade. Gravity would eventually cause the retained material to shift downslope, so keep that in mind. This should be addressed in the design to reduce the amount of lateral earth pressure behind the wall, which, at its height, has the potential to overturn the structure. The soil and slope, setback, and block size all influence the height of your wall.

Are You Looking for a Company to Build Concrete Retaining Walls for Your Home? 

Spaulding Concrete has been the SF Bay Area’s top Concrete Retaining Wall Builder for over 30 years.  We’re here to build your home’s retaining walls that will last a lifetime, no matter where they need to be placed. We have the specialized equipment, services and professional experience that you need to make permanent improvements to your landscaping. To get you started on the right foot, we would be happy to give you a free quote for your retaining walls. When you reach out by phone or email we will have one of our experts answer any questions you have and explain how we can restore integrity and structural stability to your home or landscape permanently. The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control. To schedule your free quote, contact us today! We are proud to serve Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and the surrounding areas.