09:07PM | 08/30/03
Member Since: 08/30/03
1 lifetime posts
Where do I start? My dh built a retaining wall with Allen Block Stones. The wall is 3 stones high plus a cap stone. My dh compacted gravel in the base and behind the wall. Then we added soil as we are using it as a planter. A drainage tube runs along the length of the wall (38'long).

I just found out that my dh never used any landscape fabric (not mentioned its use on the Allen Block website) between the gravel and the soil. Should I put him thru the agony of removing the soil and gravel, lay down the landscape fabric and then load in the gravel, cover gravel and then put in the soil? What kind of disaster could result from my dh's ignorance?

Also, I noticed on the Allen Block website that a reinforcement grid is needed for every 2 blocks in height. We are 3 blocks. Home Depot told us we didn't need it. Allen Block suggests we do. Is this a cash cow for Allen Block? Is it really necessary? Each stone is not quite 1' high, and the cap stone is about 3".


02:16AM | 09/02/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
265 lifetime posts
The landscape fabric between the gravel backfill and the native soil and loam serves to keep the fine particles in the native soil and loam from migrating into the gravel when rainwater infiltrates into the ground on its way to the drain pipe. Without the fabric, eventually the gravel may, keyword here is "may", become clogged with these fine particles and slow the drainage. In an application like you describe, I'm not sure that I'd go to the bother of tearing everything up now that it's complete to add the fabric. If you wall was twice the height, then I'd suggest fixing it.

As to the geogrid reinforcement fabric, with a wall only three blocks high, unless the load behind the wall is a hill that rises many feet at an extreme angle, again, I wouldn't worry. Installing the fabric requires that you excavate back into the slope behind the wall for a distance prescribed by the block manufacturer and then laying the fabric and backfilling over it. That can require removing a significant part of the slope behind the wall. If the land behind your wall is fairly level, or even just slopes gently, don't bother.

[This message has been edited by treebeard (edited September 02, 2003).]

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