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DIY With WI

How to Properly Install a Wall Drain to Your Retaining Wall

DIY with WI

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Why does your retaining wall need a drainage system?

Most retaining walls are impervious, meaning water cannot pass through the wall itself. 

Efficient drainage is crucial to ensuring your wall will stay strong and upright. If there is not some drainage or release for water, rain, and irrigation or other water buildup will exert pressure against your wall and threaten its structure. 

Any wall taller than four feet will most likely cause catastrophic damage or injury if the wall fails. An insufficiently drained retaining wall is like a reservoir dam waiting to give way when enough pressure builds up. Collapses can lead to flooding and destroy essential areas of your property.

You can read our article The Best Retaining Wall Drainage Options to get more information about why good drainage is necessary.

How to install a wall drainage system

Let’s examine the steps you must follow to install a properly functioning wall drainage system.

Step One: Excavate

The first step is to excavate the space where you are building your retaining wall. This part of the process depends largely on how long, high, and wide your wall will be and the size of the retaining blocks you are using.

Step Two: Lay your base

Lay a substantial gravel base. This is the solid foundation upon which you will be laying the blocks. You will want to use a sturdy wheelbarrow to transport the gravel and then use a garden rake to ensure the gravel is smooth and compact.

Step Three: Lay the first rows

Lay the first two courses (rows) of blocks. You should use a string line to ensure each row is straight and a level to ensure the blocks are even with one another. Once in place, fill each block with gravel so that they will remain stable and steady on the gravel foundation.

Step Four: Install Wall Drain Pro

Install a Wall Drain Pro between your wall blocks. The Wall Drain Pro is a simple drain that is aesthetically pleasing and fits neatly between blocks. 

Wall Drain Pro also has a customizable height, making it simple to install in whatever location you prefer.

Illustration from srwroducts.com

Step Five: Finish

Finish your wall by capping it off with decorative rock, laying bark dust, or planting a beautiful landscape to enhance its eye appeal.

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  • and I need
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  • . I'm interested in
  • and I want to
  • . I live in
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  • If you’re located outside of our service areas (CA, ID, MT, OR, WA), please call 503-623-9084 to get recommendations on where to purchase your pavers.
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