How To Clean Stone Retaining Walls And Other Client FAQs

These Are Some Frequently Asked Questions People In Kansas City, Missouri Ask Us About Retaining Walls

It’s good to look up FAQs on home projects before you have them done. Then you have a better idea of what to expect and why something can cost what it does.

In this post, you can find out how to clean stone retaining walls. You can also discover when retaining walls need engineering, when retaining walls are required, and if you need drainage behind a stone retaining wall.

Stone retaining wall with stairs creating more space for a driveway

Are We Missing Anything?

“Do we know everything we need to about retaining walls?” asks Jennifer.

Michaels’ forehead wrinkles. “I’m not sure. Maybe we should check out that blog again. You know, the one that had the posts like ‘how much do retaining walls cost’.”

Jennifer nods as she unlocks her phone. “I do remember and I’m on the way to their website now. Let’s see what we can find.”

Here’s what Jennifer and Michael find out:

How To Clean Stone Retaining Walls

1. Wash with a hose

We recommend starting with this so you don’t have to rent and operate a pressure washer.

Hoses work for retaining walls that are less dirty. It’s best to have a sprayer attachment. You can cover the nozzle with your thumb in a pinch to get a harder spray.

2. Wash with a pressure washer

This is for the dirt that just doesn’t seem to want to get off of your wall.

We recommend keeping the PSI below 1,500. It’s best to keep the nozzle at least 6-inches away from the stone retaining wall. Combined, this should clean your wall without damaging it.

3. Scrub your stone retaining wall

This is for those stubborn stains and dirt clods. A hard-bristled scrub brush and some elbow grease should do the trick. Scrubbing while the wall is wet helps keep the dirt from getting driven into the cracks.

*For stubborn stains, you can mix dish soap with water and use that as you scrub. If that doesn’t work you can use a water and bleach mixture.

When Do Retaining Walls Need To Be Engineered?

Building a tall retaining wall is one reason a stone retaining wall needs engineering

These are 3 of the main reasons why retaining walls need to be engineered:

1. Height

The main reason retaining walls need to be engineered is height. After 4 feet, measured from the bottom of the first block to the top of the last, things get tricky.

You need to start using more materials and processes to hold the wall in place.

2. Weight Load

If you’re retaining wall is going to hold any heavier weight, like cars, you’ll need an engineer. A retaining wall can lean, crack, and break if it isn’t built to hold that weight.

3. Terracing

Terracing is difficult. There are certain rules that need following and you may end up breaking them (which isn’t good or safe).

When Are Retaining Walls Required?

Retaining wall framing a seating area in a backyard with a half basketball court

These are common situations where retaining walls are required or are a good option:

Controlling Erosion

Retaining walls hold the soil in place so it doesn’t fall down a slope. This dirt can be unsightly and take up space in your yard. Erosion can also affect your foundation by exposing it or pushing more soil against it.

Creating More Space

If your home has any hills around it you can use retaining walls to push them back. It’s like if you set the wall up and then pushed it against the hill. You’ll have more space for projects like a patio, deck, or outdoor living space.

Managing Water Runoff

Retaining walls can help slow rainwater runoff. Your grass and plants will certainly thank you!

Do You Need Drainage Behind A Stone Retaining Wall?

Retaining wall for drainage control