Concrete slabs are widely used by concrete slab contractors in the construction of ceilings, floors, driveways and patios. The strength and durability of any structure depends on whether the concrete slab was built properly at the start. That is why slab contractors conduct stringent tests on the concrete slabs to judge their integrity. It is true that the durability of a concrete slab depends on a number of factors which includes formwork, reinforcement, thickness, quality of concrete and craftsmanship.
While building a concrete slab, meticulous attention should be given to the pouring of the concrete for the slab, so that all the elements that go into producing a high-quality concrete slab are done before the concrete starts settling. Also, right finishing tools should be used and the final troweling should be done at the right time to prevent dusting, scaling and cracking of the slab.
Reinforcing a concrete slab increases the lifespan of the slab. Generally, steel mesh is used to reinforce concrete. Though steel mesh doesn’t offer the strength a rebar gives, it is still very close and is widely used by concrete slab contractors in NYC to amplify the strength of walls, columns and sidewalks. Working with steel mesh is easier than rebar since it offers flexibility. Moreover, installing a rebar demands patience and time to set it correctly.
Let’s see how a concrete slab is reinforced using steel mesh.
- Quantity of steel and cutting: Installing a steel mesh is easy and does not require your mathematical acumen that is needed in a rebar. Steel mesh comes in sheets and rolls. The sheets are cut according to the required measurements while the rolls are trimmed to fit the area that is prepared to reinforce the slab. For reinforcing concrete sidewalks and walls, the excavated hole is measured and the steel mesh is cut according to it. For taller structures, attention is given to the height to the steel mesh.
- Pouring: Pouring the right amount of concrete is essential for providing adequate strength to the slab. The concrete mix should have the right water-cement ratio and air entrainment requirements to ensure that the slab performs well. If the slab is made for a sidewalk, you need to pour half the amount of the concrete before the steel mesh is placed. Whereas, if you are working with walls and columns, you need to leave a little space in the form and pour all the concrete.
- Reinforce with steel mesh: Before placing a steel mesh, you need to wear a pair of heavy work gloves. For sidewalk reinforcement, the steel mesh is placed over the concrete which was previously poured and then the remaining concrete is poured on top. Precaution is necessary here since you do not want the steel mesh to sink to the bottom. For walls, the steel mesh is lined with the top of the form and lowered in the wet concrete until it gets covered with concrete.