How to Reinforce Limestone Walls
Limestone walls are one of the most durable and cheap options for your garden fencing needs. They may not be suitable for being built indoors, but are one of the best choices for use as retaining walls. However, they need to be strengthened after being built as limestone crumbles very fast. Hiring laborers to build and reinforce a limestone wall involves an additional expense. A little determination in adhering to a systematic method can help you reinforce it all by yourself.
Step 1 - Digging the Foundation
Wear light clothes and safety goggles before starting construction. Use a spade to dig out the soil from the place where you wish to build the wall. It must be dug up to a medium depth as a simple retaining wall does not require a deep foundation. Moreover, we will devote time to reinforcing the wall externally which gives an additional reason not to dig too deep. The dug surface must be plain with no lumps or pebbles.
Step 2 - Plastering the Slabs
Take the slabs and place them neatly against each other. Normally you would not add cement or concrete plaster onto it. However, for reinforcement needs, take a trowel and spread cement mixed with sand evenly over it. Keep adding limestone slabs over the base and keep applying the plaster over every layer. Keep repeating this process till the slabs reach the desired height.
Step 3 - Sealing
Apply few coats of limestone sealer that can be purchased from any hardware store. Do not touch the sealer with bare hands and always use a brush to apply it on the slabs. Generally the substance reacts with the limestone to give off fumes. Make sure not to inhale them. Let the sealer soak in for two hours. Now take a clean cloth and wipe off the excess sealer that is visible on the surface.
Step 4 - Cladding
Take the cladding tiles and apply ceramic glue on them. Attach this at intervals all over the wall. The tiles stick to the surface soon and the extra glue flows out and dries up. This is a great way to reinforce the limestone and make it more durable.
Step 5 - Waterproofing
Since the wall is generally used in the garden and because limestone is prone to damage by water, it is advisable that you take up a sheet of plastic that covers half the wall from below (the flowerbed area). This shall prevent the leaking water from weakening the structure.
Step 6 - Finishing Touches
Distribute the gravel all over the bottom part of your flower bed. Make sure that the gravel layer formed is more than 2 inches thick for best results. Anything less shall lead to accumulation of water at the wall’s base. This is a trick for reinforcement not commonly known. Fill up the bed with soil up till the level you want, but make sure that at least a single limestone slab row is visible. Take a generous amount of wood chips and fill up the empty area up till the full height of your limestone wall.