In almost any modern construction project, a certain amount of concrete is necessary to get the job done. It’s firm, sturdy, and reliable when you know how to use it. Sometimes, the bigger the construction project, the stronger you need your concrete to be. That’s where steel reinforcing mesh comes into play.
What is it? How do you know if you need it? Do all concrete construction projects need reinforcing mesh? Here’s what you need to know.
Rebar and Reinforcing Mesh options
When it comes to reinforcing concrete, there are two main options. One option is the rebar, or a reinforcing bar, which is a steel rod that comes in different thicknesses. These are usually ribbed for better grip. Rebars typically encompass the edges of the slabs.
Wired mesh is often paired with rebars, but not always. The steel mesh is made up of wires melded together into a flat sheet. The wires form a square, grid-like pattern. Like the rebars, mesh comes in varying sizes and thicknesses. The most common size is 1/8″ thick (4 mm) and 6″ long by 6″ wide (150 mm x 150 mm).
Neither rebar nor mesh rust inside the concrete like one might suspect. The curing of concrete seals it off from oxygen, which is what causes the rusting of steel. That’s why thicker slabs of concrete are better suited to steel reinforcement.
Do All Concrete Projects Need Reinforcement?
No, they do not. Larger projects or slabs may need steel reinforcement to provide support or extra strength. Wired mesh can also help resist cracking. However, not every piece of concrete necessarily requires that extra boost.
When you’re working on a major project, it’s important to carefully look over plans and building requirements. Some locations require reinforcement no matter the size or scale of the concrete. This is especially true of certain public buildings.
The main slabs that require the steel reinforcing mesh will be those that expect a heavy workload. Anything from a lot of foot traffic, walls, or other foundational pieces will need that extra strength.
How Do You Know If You Need It?
If you’re working on something residential like a pathway or a shed floor, you likely don’t need the reinforcement. Even some driveways don’t need the steel mesh, but most recommend it since vehicles weigh quite a lot.
Something like a carport or garage floor may not require a permit. They should, however, have reinforcement. They take a lot of weight and traffic, so they need the support.
Even if your project is small, take note of the ground underneath. For softer or spongy ground, the slabs on top could benefit from some extra reinforcement!
If your permit or building ordinances require steel reinforcement, mesh wire is a great choice. If you’re working on residential projects or your own home, the need for support varies. Take note of the project, the ground underneath, and the purpose of the concrete. All of these factors will help you decide if and how much reinforcement you need.
If you have any questions please reach out to our friendly staff who will be happy to assist.