If you have been thinking about introducing some gabion walls to your property, as retaining walls or perhaps even some interesting outdoor seating, you might be wondering whether they really are the best choice. Like anything, these walls have their advantages and disadvantages. In order to determine whether gabions are the right choice for the project you have in mind, you will need to weigh these pros and cons against each other.
There are a number of advantages associated with the introduction of gabion walls, including:
Their strong bases, which prevent them from being dragged away during heavy downpours and even by vandals.
They help to reduce the velocity of running water, as the rocks dissipate its energy, which helps to reduce erosion.
The flexibility of the gabion baskets and the rocks they contain allows from small movements as the ground below shifts.
As time passes, gaps between the rocks will be filled by vegetation and silt, which will further reinforce the wall.
Handling and transporting the materials is quite simple, which helps to reduce the time taken to build the gabions.
Gaps between the rocks allow water to flow through the structure, helping to maintain a low groundwater level.
There are also a number of disadvantages associated with gabion walls that you need to be aware of:
In some cases, the aesthetic impression of the walls is minimal (as the wire basket can be seen and algae may be present).
High velocity water could cause the gabion to be damaged through the impact of a large or heavy object.
It is important to keep in mind that the advantages and disadvantages will also depend on the condition of the site, the availability of materials and equipment, and the availability of manpower.
Site Condition – If the ground is relatively soft, you will need to create a concrete or stone base for the baskets to sit on top of (lest they sink into the mud). This can add significant time and cost. If the ground is relatively hard, you will be able to build the wall immediately.
Availability of Materials & Equipment – If the supplier has baskets and rock in stock, you will be able to erect the gabions as soon as you get everything home. If they have to order materials in, you will have to wait until they’re delivered. Equipment may also be required.
Availability of Manpower – Filling the baskets with rock is something that is done by hand, which can be time consuming (if you have a lot of baskets to fill) and can lead to injury if you’re not careful. If you have helpers, you will get the project done faster.
We hope that you have found the information provided above useful in determining whether gabion walls are the right choice for your upcoming project or not. Whilst these walls do look fantastic and can add a real sense of luxury to your property, it is important to note that they aren’t for everyone. If you have decided to introduce some gabions, it is important that you put the baskets together properly and fill them with the correct stone.