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Common Problems You Face With Rebar in Your Foundation

Rebar is essential in building foundations and establishing wall reinforcement. As with any material, it doesn’t come without possible problems.

To prevent issues and get ahead of risks, it’s best to know the most common problems you face with rebar in your foundation.

Concrete Shrinkage Causing Moisture

Concrete shrinkage occurs when concrete loses water. This naturally happens over time, but it can be exacerbated by external elements like temperature shifts, strong winds, and high humidity.

Concrete hardens after being exposed to water because the water evaporates in between particles. The problem with rapid drying shrinkage is that it can cause cracks in the concrete.

When your concrete starts to crack, it can attract more moisture to seep through. Aside from possibly increasing the shrinkage rate, this also creates a direct path for moisture to reach your rebar. What makes that bad is that moisture will make rebar rust and eventually weaken the fortitude of the concrete around it.

Exposed Rebar Starting to Rust

Once your rebar starts to rust, it only worsens without immediate intervention. That’s because rust can leach additional moisture and air into your foundation. The last thing you want is to have your foundation and walls shifting whenever there is a change in weather.

You don’t want to expose the rebar because it becomes more susceptible to corrosion. As the material deteriorates, it is more likely to cause concrete to fall apart. It’s important to keep your rebar covered and secured to minimise exposure and external damage.

Poor Clearance and Coverage

It’s essential to get a structural steel and fabrication specialist to provide you with the correct measurements and encasement for rebar; otherwise, you risk having it move positions during the building process. When an imprecise mistake like this occurs, the final product is likely to have spaces that lead to headaches down the line.

The tricky part of this is to ensure clearance. In general, you want to have at least three inches of space between your rebar and any soil. You still need a little less than an inch to leave some room for use in wall reinforcement. If this step is skipped or mishandled, the environment tends to have more moisture and oxygen.

Proper positioning will also prevent sudden shifts that may suddenly expose your rebar and give it a lack of coverage.

Rock Pockets

Another surefire way to corrode your rebar in no time is to leave rock pockets be. A rock pocket, not to be confused with the mouse breed of the same name, is a foundation with exposed rock that results in water leaking through.

Rock pockets result from concrete being either too dry upon placement or not properly vibrated. Once again, this puts your rebar at risk of accumulating moisture and corroding.


Reinforcements are an obvious necessity in building, so it’s best to avoid the mistakes that cause the problems listed above. Preparing for the future is the best way to prevent issues in the present. Ensure you get good supplies, and that qualified workers do your installation.

If you’re looking for rebar suppliers near the Sunshine Coast, reach out to Phoenix Reinforcing. We make sure you get quality reinforcing materials delivered straight to you.

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