a retaining wall cross-section illustration
Illustration: Rodica Prato
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Anatomy of a Retaining Wall

The basic parts of a mortared-stone wall. Components can vary for other wall types.

Drainage stone:
Keeps water from collecting behind the wall

Filter fabric:
Prevents soil from clogging drainage stone

Batter:
The backward lean into the earth, about 1 inch for every 1 foot of wall height

Weep hole:
Spaced every 6 to 8 feet, it lets water drain through the wall base

Footing:
Reinforced concrete supports the wall

Footing drain:
Carries away water
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