Concrete is a sturdy, reliable building material. But just like any other material, it can benefit from reinforcement when used in areas that will see a lot of wear and tear. When it comes to concrete reinforcement, there are two main options: rebar and mesh. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. So, should you use rebar or mesh to reinforce your concrete? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Rebar?
A rebar is a steel bar used to reinforce concrete. It is commonly used in driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. Rebar comes in different sizes and lengths.
What is Wire Mesh?
Wire mesh is also made from steel, but it is a mesh of wires welded together. This material is often found in driveways.
Rebar v Mesh: Which is better for Lots and Driveways?
The answer depends on what type of construction project you’re undertaking. But here are some factors that you must consider before deciding which option to go for:
Wire mesh is a cheaper steel reinforcing material than rebar. It uses thin steel wires while rebar is a steel bar, and the cost depends on its thickness and size. Rebar may also cost you more in labor. The high cost of rebar may not be justified if it’s a private driveway or a small area or if you are on a budget. However, it might be cost-effective when used in commercial settings.
Wire mesh is easier to install than rebar. So, if your project is time-sensitive, then wire mesh may be the best option. It even requires fewer workers to install as compared to rebar.
While both types are strong, rebar has better bend strength properties than wire mesh and provides better support to the concrete for high or heavy traffic. Rebar is a good choice for projects that will experience a lot of wear and tear, such as industrial lots, underground parking lots, or other commercial parking lots. Wire mesh is a better option for light to medium traffic areas like driveways and sidewalks.
If your project site is located far from the supplier or transportation is tricky, wire mesh is a better option as it weighs significantly less than rebar. The lightweight mesh will save on transport costs. Nonetheless, both can withstand the rough conditions during transport.
Steel and concrete have similar expansion properties when it comes to temperature changes. As a result, wire mesh and rebar will expand and contract at the same rate as concrete. Therefore, concrete bound to these steel reinforcements cracks at a lesser pace than it would without any support.
Wire mesh is suitable only for horizontal slabs like driveways, patios, and sidewalks. On the other hand, contractors use rebar for horizontal and vertical applications such as walls and columns.
Rebar is more corrosion-resistant than wire mesh and can last up to 100 years if properly coated and maintained. Wire mesh will erode much faster; however, various treatments can be applied to protect the wire mesh from rust.
Discuss the suitability of rebar and mesh with your concrete contractor, specific to your project type.
Bay Country Contractors provides high-quality reinforced concrete paving services to its commercial clients in Manassas, VA. Contact us for your next concrete project or get a free estimate for any of our concrete and asphalt services!