Retaing Wall Footer Specs


Old 11-04-13, 01:48 PM
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Retaing Wall Footer Specs

I am planning to put a 10 feet long and 6 feet high retaing wall using 16x 8x8 concrete blocks (replacing the damaged pressure treated wood walls). I would like to know the the height and width of the footer so that I can have an idea of how much concrete neeed to be used. Plus how many rebar should I use in the footer concrete.
I live in Montgomery County in Maryland.
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Old 11-04-13, 02:29 PM
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I would construct a structural, dry stack retaining wall. They are constructed on a compacted crushed stone footer and the blocks are stacked and held together with lips cast into the blocks or with fiberglass pins. No concrete or rebar is required and since there is no mortar between the blocks the chance of water being trapped behind the wall is greatly reduced. I mostly use Keystone Compac blocks but there are other brands as well. I would not consider using blocks from a big box home center.

Old 11-04-13, 03:06 PM
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Many communities may require ANY retaining wall over 4 or 5' high to be engineered, irregardless of the wall material. Any good engineer will probably use the manufacturers design table and sign a design to make it legal. He may want to take a quick look at the site to see if there additional load from soil sloping upward behind the wall and use a different design table. The better real segmental retaining wall suppliers can give you help. - If you are using the little (and expensive in the end) units. Be aware that the better product lines offer a wide range, but the big boxes only carry the smaller units for price advertising purposes and not many others.

A segmental does not have a concrete footing since it conflicts with engineering of the wall and pumps up the cost. Also, no mortar, rebar or grout on them since it not compatible with the performance.

A concrete footing on a wod or railroad tie wall could be worse then a wood wall with no footing.

Old 11-04-13, 11:19 PM
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I second (or third, actually) the opinions already presented on NOT using conventional concrete blocks on a concrete footing for your wall. Doing the latter will cost more, take longer, and not perform nearly as well as the beefier segmental units suggested. Big-box, cheap stuff is limited to very low walls, if you want decent performance.

And regardless of what you use, if you don't want the fines to bleed through, make sure to line the backside with filter fabric as you backfill.

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