How do you use reinforcing wire mesh?


Quick Answer

Use reinforcing mesh when pouring concrete to add tensile strength to the finished slab. Concrete is subject to expansion and contraction with temperature changes and the swelling of the earth that supports it. Without reinforcement, concrete tends to crack and degrade. The mesh provides a stronger finished product with greater durability.

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Full Answer

One option for installing the mesh is to pour the slab in two separate pours. The first forms the bottom half of the slab, and the installer adds the mesh before quickly making the second pour over it so the top and bottom of the slab form a seamless unit. A second option is pouring piles of concrete every 3 to 5 feet and setting the mesh in them. The finishers press the wire to its approximate location when finishing the pour. The third option is to support the wire with bricks that remain in the slab after the contractor finishes it.

The mesh provides the greatest tensile strength when at the center of the slab. If it protrudes beneath the pour, it does not provide the additional strength. It cannot extend above the finish floor. Concrete vibrators and rods help to ensure the mix distributes correctly to embed and connect with the wire.

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