If you're building a new retaining wall in a garden, then sleepers are a popular material to use. While you can go for a more rustic look with wooden sleepers, concrete products may be a better option. Why? Keep reading to find out.
1. You need a stronger wall
While wooden sleepers are strong, they aren't as strong as concrete. Wooden blocks may not always hold fast as a retaining wall, especially as the wood naturally degrades over time.
These sleepers might not be the best option if you have unusual retaining wall needs. For example, they may not be able to cope with large slopes where the sleepers will have to hold back large amounts of earth.
Concrete sleepers are a lot stronger. If the sleepers contain a steel rod core, as many of them do, then they also get a structural boost that makes them even stronger. These sleepers are also strong enough to cope with sitting in walls at heights where wood might not be able to hold steady.
2. You want a wall that lasts
Wood does have a long life; however, this natural material won't stay intact forever. Even if you buy treated timbers, there will come a time when the wood will start to break down.
For example, wooden sleepers will absorb some of the moisture from the earth that lies against them and from environmental conditions like dew and rain. They will start to rot down if they don't stay dry.
Plus, if termites or wood-boring insects target your sleepers, then they won't stay in one piece. These insects can destroy wood pretty quickly either by chewing through it or by making holes in it.
On the other hand, concrete is much better at staying intact in even bad environmental conditions. It's of no interest to insects at all. So, your retaining wall will last longer.
3. You want a wall that looks after itself
After a wooden retaining wall has been up for a while, you'll have to do some work on it. If the sun leaches out its colour, you may need to stain or paint it. If it starts to break down, you may have to repair weak areas and reseal the wood. These aren't one-off repair jobs; you'll have to do them repeatedly over the years.
Concrete sleepers need hardly any work. If they get dirty or discoloured, you may need to wash them down every year or so. Otherwise, they'll take care of themselves.
To learn more about concrete sleepers and how they work as retaining walls, talk to building supplies companies.