Protecting Your Riverbanks

Anyone who lives near a river knows how delightful it is to listen to the water flowing past your windows every day. However, river living can also be dangerous—heavy rains can bring floods and riverbanks can collapse. If your house is near a river, a retaining wall may be a wise investment.

Floods are the biggest danger to homeowners whose houses are located along Indiana’s many rivers. Not only is there the real danger of water damage to your home, but the increased water flow can also be damaging to riverbanks. Erosion may not be visible after just one flood, but over time your bank will get smaller and smaller. A retaining wall will help slow the erosion process, keeping your home safe from damage.

Functional retaining walls don’t have to be ugly. If your bank angles sharply down to the riverbed, try building a wall that starts high and then winds down to the water. This will allow you to create an easily accessible path to the river itself—perfect for hot summer days when you need to cool off in the water. You can even create a multi-level wall for a terraced effect. Evergreen climbing vines like ivy—most of which are hardy enough to withstand the occasional flood—are a great landscaping choice for a steep bank, as are hostas. Try using the top of your bank as a vegetable garden; your new retaining wall will ensure that the topsoil isn’t washed away by rainwater or floods, and you’ll love having fresh vegetables.

While you’re working to preserve your riverbank, you should consider adding some gravel or landscape boulders at the waterline. This will make your home more secure by ensuring that your river’s everyday flow and fluctuation doesn’t erode the bank. There are a variety of options for securing riverbanks, including gabion baskets, which are metal frameworks filled with stone, and riprap, which refers to granite or igneous rocks installed along the waterline.

No matter what route you decide to go as you’re protecting your home from floodwaters and erosion, Garrity Stone Inc. has the materials you need. We’ve been in the stone business for sixty years, and we’d be more than happy to make recommendations based on your specific needs. Contact us today at 317-546-0893 to learn more, or stop by our Indianapolis location.