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Building Mountain Boulder Retaining Walls

 mountain boulder retaining wall

What to do when neighbor’s weeds are infringing on your property.

Build a mountain boulder wall. It prevents them from skipping over that hard surface. No, really. It’s about the soil and holding the mountain in place. Some use RR ties or timbers to build retaining walls and that’s ok too.  There’s always a place and time for big mountain boulders. Boulder walls can take a ton of pressure since they’re found in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina and are plentiful.

Creating a Firm Foundation for Mountain Boulder Retaining Walls

In building a mountain boulder wall, the slope and grade have to be considered and the maneuverability to get the machinery into the space to lay the boulders and stack. If mountain boulder walls are an option for the area, grading may be preliminary to the job as well as cleaning the surface of the terrain. Our forestry mulching equipment along with excavators and a skid loader can carve out and grade and clear the specific area. Footers for the mountain boulder walls are dug. The mountain boulders are divided out between the small, medium and large. The bank is blanketed with a heavy landscape fabric to prevent erosion and sediment from running off. The wall is then carefully constructed using a fine assortment of harvested creek stone with moss and lichen laden boulders of a mixed size and variety. The wall is started by choosing the larger, flatter stone to establish the first base course. The jagged and imperfect side is left face down to act as an anchor in the soil. The second course is ready and the flat layer is positioned upward continuing with each course.

Mountain boulders are moved with the CAT skid loader and a mini excavator with a thumb that carefully handles each stone in stacking. Attention is given to not scratch and scar the mountain boulders or knock the moss and lichen off. This preserves the aesthetic look of the stone and its embellishment to appear as though it’s always been in place. As the boulders are stacked, the stones are placed like a jigsaw puzzle pieces and layered tightly so the joints are minimal. As the wall goes up, graduated sizes of mountain boulders and rock are placed strategically. Once the wall is completed, the gaps are filled in with smaller boulders and rock. As the layers are being placed, stone and soil backfill is being packed behind the boulders. Finally, a level top course is set and the finishing touches to the rest of the area are performed such as plantings or mulch and edging.

If you’re perched on a hillside and getting too much soil running over to your side of the mountain, it might be time for a mountain boulder retaining wall. Give us a call and we can give you the details.

Build A Mountain Boulder Retaining Wall

mountain boulder retaining wall

What to do when neighbor’s weeds are infringing on your property.

Build a mountain boulder retaining wall. It prevents them from skipping over that hard surface. No, really. It’s another option for retaining walls that we offer. There’s always a place and time for big boulders. Boulder walls can give a beautiful look to the landscape. The mountain boulders are  harvested locally in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina.

Creating a Firm Foundation for a Mountain Boulder Retaining Wall

In building a mountain boulder retaining wall, the slope and grade have to be considered.  The maneuverability to get the machinery into the space to lay the boulders and stack will be measured. If mountain boulder retaining walls are an option for the area, grading may be preliminary to the job as well as cleaning the surface of the terrain. Our forestry mulching equipment along with excavators and a skid loader can carve out and grade and clear the specific area. Footers for the boulder walls are dug. The boulders are divided out between the small, medium and large. The bank is blanketed with a heavy landscape fabric to prevent erosion and sediment from running off. The wall is then carefully constructed using fine assortments of harvested creek stone.  Some boulders will have moss and lichen and be of a mixed size and variety. The wall is started by choosing the larger, flatter stone to establish the first base course. The jagged and imperfect side is left face down to act as an anchor in the soil. The second course is ready, and the flat layer is positioned upward continuing with each course.

The Details Matter

Boulders are moved with the CAT skid loader and a mini-excavator. The mini-excavator with a thumb carefully handles each stone in stacking. Attention is given not to scratch and scar the boulders or knock the moss and lichens off. This preserves the aesthetic look of the stone. The lichen embellishment gives the appearance as though it’s always been in place. As the boulders are stacked, the stones are placed like a jigsaw puzzle pieces and layered tightly, so the joints are minimal. As the wall goes up, graduated sizes of mountain boulders and rock are placed strategically. Once the wall is completed, the gaps are filled in with smaller boulders and rock. As the layers are being placed, stone and soil backfill is being packed behind the boulders. Finally, a level top course is set, and the finishing touches to the rest of the area are performed such as plantings or mulch and edging.

If you’re perched on a hillside and getting too much soil running over to your side of the mountain, it might be time for a mountain boulder retaining wall. Give us a call, and we can give you the details.

Two Reasons to Install a French Drain

Stormwater runoff can be improved around the house by building a French Drain. A French drain is a sloped channel packed with piping and gravel to divert water runoff. Water will travel to the lowest point pulled by gravity. Often in the mountains, swift currents of water will erode the ground forming trenches carved out in the soil. When observed, this is an indication of how the water is flowing and how the ground has been graded. Spotted in the correct location to collect this flow, a French drain can help with alleviating erosion. French drains collect the water to distribute it more effectively.

When to Install a French Drain

French drains are used to alleviate water effervescence on basement walls. The clay soils of western North french drain-drainage-wet basementsCarolina soak in water and don’t drain well. This water builds up against foundation wall basements causes hydrostatic pressure to build. Too much pressure can occur and deteriorate foundation walls. If cracks are apparent, a trained professional licensed landscape contractor can access the flow of water and give suggestions on how to remedy the situation.

When building a retaining wall, it is necessary to build a French drain behind the structure to eliminate hydrostatic pressure on the wall. Extending this drain the whole length of the wall with an outage will keep the wall stable and free of water undermining the foundation and putting undue pressure on the wall.

How a French Drain Is Built

The average French drain is normally 24 inches deep and 18-24 inches wide and slopes to the outlet 3 inches for every 10 feet. Landscape fabric covers the trench and stapled. Six inches of ¾-crushed gravel is placed in the trench and socked perforated pipe is laid on top. Backfill of more ¾-crushed gravel is placed around the diameter of the pipe to provide primary support against lateral pipe deformation. Depending on how it will be french drain-storm water-Ashevillefinished on top will determine what comes next. There are options. A French drain can be finished with gravel or river stone. It can also be covered and topped with soil and grass or mulch. Depending on the finished look and the advice of your landscape contractor will determine how the final steps are performed.

If you are experiencing excess moisture in the wrong places and want to prevent damage to your basement walls or retaining walls, give us a call. We are a Stormwater BMP Inspector with NCSU and have the experience and can improve your drainage issues.