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Reinforcing Mesh in Your Concrete Slab: Do You Really Need It?

Most modern construction projects require a particular amount of concrete to get the job done correctly. When used properly, concrete offers reliability, firmness, and stability, which are three characteristics every structure must-have. Likewise, the bigger your construction project, the more durable your concrete must be. For this reason, many builders rely on steel reinforcing mesh, which adds more support and solidity to the structure.

However, you may be wondering if your construction product needs reinforcing mesh and how to tell if you require it in the first place. Here’s what you need to know about using reinforcing mesh in your concrete slab:

The Two Main Options in Reinforcing Concrete

When reinforcing concrete, you have two main options to choose from: rebar or a reinforcing bar and wired mesh. Rebar is a steel rod that is available in various thicknesses, typically ribbed to offer better grip. Rebars often cover the edges of the slabs.

On the other hand, wired mesh typically accompanies rebars, but not all the time. Steel mesh consists of wires joined together into a flat sheet, forming a grid-like pattern. They’re also available in different sizes and thicknesses, with the most common size being 1/8” thick or 4 mm and 6” long by 6” wide, which is 150 mm x 150 mm.

Even though these options are made of metal, they do not rust inside the concrete. Since concrete cures instead of dries, it seals it from oxygen, which causes steel to rust. That’s why thicker slabs of concrete are more appropriate for steel reinforcement.

Does Your Concrete Project Need Reinforcement?

Not all concrete projects require reinforcement. More extensive projects or slabs may be more likely to offer more strength and support to the structure, as the wired mesh can help prevent cracking. Still, not every piece of concrete requires the extra boost.

If you’re working on a significant project, you’ll need to carefully review the plans and building requirements. Some locations will need steel reinforcement, like some public buildings, regardless of the concrete’s size or scale. The main slabs that need the steel reinforcing mesh will be those that will carry a heavy workload. Anything that deals with many foot traffic, walls, or other foundational pieces will benefit from that extra strength.

How Can You Tell If You Need Steel Reinforcement?

If your project involves a residential structure like a pathway or a shed floor, you probably won’t need steel reinforcement. Some driveways don’t even require the steel mesh, though most reinforcers recommend it since they support the heavy load of vehicles.

Projects like a garage floor or a carport may not need a permit, but they must have reinforcement since they deal with a lot of traffic and weight, requiring support. Even if your project is considerably small, it’s essential to consider the ground underneath. The slabs on top will undoubtedly benefit from more support through the reinforcing mesh if you build on soft or spongy ground.

Conclusion

Mesh wire is a reliable pick if your project needs steel reinforcement due to building ordinances or permit requirements. However, if your project is residential or you’re working on something in your home, the criteria for support changes, so it’s best to speak to a professional. By factoring in the project’s nature, the ground underneath, and the concrete’s purpose, you can determine if your project needs reinforcement.

Phoenix Reinforcing is a concrete reinforcing business in Queensland that can help you with your reinforcing and building needs. We specialise in reinforcing sales, scheduling and estimating, decorative concrete products, and many more. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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