How to Reinforce a Concrete Slab with Steel Mesh How to Reinforce a Concrete Slab with Steel Mesh

What You'll Need
Steel mesh
Tin snips
Measuring tape
Heavy gloves
Metal ties

Regardless of how strong concrete is you can still reinforce concrete in order to make it last much longer. Steel mesh is a popular way to reinforce concrete. The steel mesh used to reinforce concrete looks just like any other type of fine woven material but made from metal. Steel mesh, unlike rebar, is easily formed making it very popular. It does not offer the strength that rebar does but it is very close. Steel mesh is used by the construction business to enhance the strength of wall, columns and sidewalks. It is easier to work with than rebar due to its flexibility. Installing rebar in concrete is not very difficult but it can take time and patience to get it set correctly. The information below will show you how to reinforce concrete using steel mesh.

Step 1 – Amount of Steel Mesh and Cutting

Using steel mesh doesn't require a degree in spacial mathematics like rebar seems to require. Steel mesh comes in rolls like chicken wire or in sheets. Sheets are pre-measured and cut while rolls need to be trimmed to fit the area it is intended to reinforce the concrete. When you reinforce concrete sidewalks then you simply measure the size of the excavated hole. This is the size to cut the steel mesh to and using it for walls is the same method. Of course you need to keep the height in mind for taller structures. Columns and supports are a little different in that you will have to use each side as a measurement, add them together and convert to square footage. Divide this number in half to get the amount of steel mesh needed for the job.

Step 2 – Pouring

Steel mesh is only effective as reinforcement if it is in the center of the concrete. If you are working on a sidewalk you will need to pour half of the concrete before you can place the steel mesh. If working with walls or columns then you need to pour all of the concrete first leaving a little room in the form.

Step 3 – Reinforce the Concrete with Steel Mesh

Luckily steel mesh is very pliable and forgiving. Before placing steel mesh always use heavy work gloves. The mesh is heavy but it can also cut you if you are not careful while handling it. For sidewalk reinforcement you will simply lay the piece of steel mesh on top of the concrete you have already poured and then slowly pour in the remaining concrete. You have to be careful because you do not want the steel mesh sinking to the bottom. For a straight or curving wall you simply line the steel mesh up with the top of the form and while the concrete is still wet you lower the steel mesh down until it is fully covered with concrete. Columns are done the same way, but you form the mesh into a cylinder and lash together with metal ties.

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