How to Keep Landscape Timbers from Rotting

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By: Anglianblasting Date: January 28, 2019

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Home construction or remodelling is a demanding undertaking that every homeowner should pay much attention to. It is a big investment of money and time, and you need to be very considerate in your undertakings. One key thing that you should put into consideration is the kind of materials you are going to use in your construction project. Landscape timber is one of the major material used in railway sleeper retaining wall construction.

Many questions or issues will pop up when figuring out what is the best wood for retaining wall? Landscape timbers or woods give every homeowner the opportunity to turn their exterior into a landscaping piece of art. However, it is not an easy undertaking, you can pursue and succeed at the very first step. Wood is mostly used for many landscaping purposes and it is a top-notch construction material.

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Timber is a long lasting building and remodelling material, but it can be a nuisance if it is not properly maintained. For many homeowners, how to keep landscape timbers from warping is an issue that has made home exterior repair a challenge and a costly affair.

Landscape wood has been used in many projects to build raised beds for gardens and plant boxes. Many homeowners have used landscape timbers to build retaining walls, make garden steps, slopes or landscape pathways.

The uses of landscape timbers are endless. However, before you go and order landscape timbers, there is a lot that you have to keep in mind. In fact, there is a lot you need to know about the best lumber for retaining walls. In addition, before undertaking any home landscaping project, it is wise to also gather robust information on how to keep landscape woods from rotting.

Building Retaining Walls- The Basics

If you are looking for ways to improve the look of your yard or build a new garden, you need to get the best timber in the market. Building a retaining wall with sleepers is not an easy undertaking. You have to know where to start, the kind of timber to use, and how to install the wood sleepers.

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Retaining walls play great roles when properly installed. These types of walls can be useful structures if installed in areas of different elevation in a backyard. Whether you want to build railway sleeper retaining wall or one made of wood sleepers, there are a number of reasons why you need such as a wall. They include;

If your yard is located on a slope, retaining walls will help hold back the soil, and prevent it from crumbling when slightly disturbed. The walls will also help prevent any debris from floating into your home.

Retaining walls offer a better way to control water flow in a home or garden. A homeowner can prevent water from building on the retaining wall by drilling weep holes through the wall, and these holes will allow water to escape from the wall. You can also install drainage pipe behind the log retaining wall.

  • Create a practical garden space

A retaining wall will give you more usable space where you can also install a playground or a walk-out basement. The wall will be suitable, if your land is hilly or sloppy.

If you opt for landscape timbers for your projects, it is wise to make sure that you choose the best wood to use for retaining wall. Landscape timbers can be used for building a garden, landscape curbing, as well as for separating a walkway. This means that the project you have in mind should determine the kind of timber that you choose.

Remember wooden garden wall is also susceptible to bad weather, so you have to make sure you are using the right timber that will also last longer. The major landscaping timbers that you can opt for in the market include;

1. Natural timbers

If you are fond of using landscape woods properly, you are well-acquainted with the benefits of treated wood retaining wall. Natural timbers can be classified into treated woods and untreated woods. These types of wood vary in textures, and also when it comes to their cost. In most cases, homeowners opt for cheap retaining wall sleepers, but it is advisable to look at other features of wooden sleepers. There are many ways on how to protect wooden sleepers that any property owner who intends to use natural timber should be well-versed with. Treated woods are normally treated with oil-based preservatives. These additives help ward off fungi, mould or any damage that can be caused by exposure to moisture and make the wood rot.

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Many people think that treated timber is a kind of wood that won?t rot, but this is not the case. Treated wood will last longer, but it does not mean that the wooden sleepers cannot be attacked by fungus or rot due to exposure to moisture. Untreated timbers have certain natural resistance towards fungus damage and can also battle high temperatures and moisture.

2. Synthetic timbers

There are wide varieties of synthetic timbers that you can easily get in the market. Recycled plastic woods are the common landscape timbers that you get at ease and install the best recycled plastic sleepers retaining wall.

Plastic sheet behind retaining wall is easy to install, if you have a clear understanding of the project. Synthetic landscape timbers don?t have any chemicals, and provide a safer setting for your family and the plants in your sleeper wall garden.

Why Landscape Timber Rot-Everything to Know

Timber rot is a major frustration and a challenge faced by many homeowners. Many would want to keep their wooden property away from rotting, but it is not an easy undertaking. Preventing sleepers rotten is an important project, but it all starts by understanding what wood rotting is all about. You will understand why timber rots and what preventive measures you can take and will work in your situation.

Rot can completely destroy your house or property, and you need to figure out how to stop wood rotting in the ground. It all starts by understanding what causes wood to rot. Here are a few pointers to look at;

  • Treated landscape timber will rot due to fungal attack

Fungi are small organisms that move inside timber and feed on it. This fungi attack causes the treated wood to soften and starts to decay. As you build wood sleeper retaining wall, it is wise to scrutinize the timber and make sure it is free from fungi damage.

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  • Exposure to moisture or wet weather

Probably you have heard about wet rot and dry rot as you figure out how to waterproof a retaining wall. Wet rot occurs on permeable surfaces, especially on timber with high moisture content and the water does not dry out. Dry rot is common in cases where the moisture content is around 20%. Wet rot needs to be treated as it can cause major damage to wooden property.

Besides the presence of water and fungi, there must be the presence of oxygen, warmth and a substrate (the wood) for rot to occur. With this in mind, there are ways that you can use and prevent retaining wall membrane from rotting. They include;

  • Keeping the timber painted

You should stop wondering, how to prevent the wood from rotting in the ground because painting is the most effective strategy to opt for. You have to keep the wood coated with quality oils, protecting spray, paint, waxes and varnishes. Paint will keep fungus away from attacking your wooden property.

  • Keeping the timber away from water exposure

You have to install a retaining wall moisture barrier. Any area of your wooden property that is exposed to moisture is likely to rot. You have to conduct sightsee on your property and find any joints or cracks that might give rise to possible condition for rot.

Your hardwood sleeper retaining wall will get wet outside and you can still prevent rot by providing a way for the wet wood to dry out. This is possible if you make sure the landscape timber is not into direct contact with the ground or masonry. As you DIY sleeper retaining wall, you can design the project in a manner that there are gaps between vertical and horizontal surfaces.

  • Look for the key cause of the rot

You also need to use your eyes to prevent rot. You need to make a tour of your property and inspect the retaining sleepers for;

  • Cracks and holes that might be allowing moisture into the property.
  • Roof leaks that might cause unexplainable wood rotting.
  • Cracked and damaged painted surfaces that might lead to fungi attack and decay of the wooden sleepers.
  • Contact a timber rot specialist

You may know how to fix railway sleepers for a retaining wall, but find it daunting to prevent timber rot. If you cannot do it yourself, don?t fret at all. It time to seek the services of a timber rot expert. If you leave the rot problem unsolved, the more it will cost you to treat it. Feel free to contact a rot specialist of choice and treat your decaying sleeper retaining wall.

With all these information on how to keep landscape timber from rotting in your fingertips, it is time to ascertain more on building retaining walls with railway sleepers. Railway sleepers have been in use for many decades in the construction sector. These timber railways sleepers are versatile products with a lot of uses.

Many people have been using railway sleepers in the garden as an alternative for stone or bricks. Railway sleepers look amazing, and will give your garden a rustic finish and increase the value of your home or property. If you know how to lay garden sleepers, you should not have any problems using railway sleepers for building furniture projects or fireplaces.

If you are looking for earthy beauty and increase the aesthetic value of your property, you can opt for a pine sleeper retaining wall. Oak and hardwood railway sleepers can also play great roles in your projects. But you have to make sure you treat your project with the right rot treatment options and keep your mini ties lumber in top-notch condition. If you have used railway sleepers before, you should not have any problems instructing a person in need of help in learning how to build a retaining wall with railway sleepers. There are different types of railway sleepers, and you should always opt for the best. You can opt for wooden, concrete, cast iron and steel railway sleepers.

Here is a simple guide on how to build a garden wall with railway sleepers;

1. Marking out

You cannot master how to build a garden wall with sleepers, if you don?t start by measuring and marking out the size of your planned garden bed. Pick an area that will not require a lot of sleepers as they are not that easy to cut into correct sizes. Clear any vegetation that might hinder the success of your project in the marked area.

2. Lay the first sleepers row

Go on and make the how to install garden sleepers procedure easy by laying out the first layer of sleepers on the garden bed. Leave gaps to allow easy flow of excess water.

3. Lay the second sleepers row

While laying the second row of sleepers, ensure they properly overlap the joints in the bottom row of railway sleepers. Ensure they don?t create a weak point in the retaining wall.

4. Finishing the wall

Continue laying out the sleepers until you reach the desired wall height. Drain nails through the sleepers to ensure the wall is firm enough. You will not have issues figuring out how long do railway sleepers last. Go on and fill the spaces inside the retaining wall with compost or soil.

The Bottom Line

Are you still having problems comprehend how to build a sleeper retaining wall on a slope? Worry no more. At Anglian Blasting, we understand how demanding the procedure can be if you are doing it for the first time. We have been in the construction sector for a number of years, and we have a team of experts who will guide you on how to build a sleeper retaining wall hassle free. We also offer budget-friendly rotten timber replacement services. Our team of experts will also help you undertake your landscape timber projects successfully.

Originally published at on January 28, 2019.


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