How to reinforce concrete slabs

Written by jennifer simon
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When an individual is planning to pour a concrete slab, it is important that the slab is reinforced correctly to ensure the structure is stable and well supported. In some cases, a concrete slab will be the foundation for a building. Concrete slabs can also be built to form a porch or driveway. All concrete slabs must be supported adequately with rebar to avoid foundation issues in the future. If concrete is not supported. cracks and weaknesses will form, which can lead to a shift in the entire structure.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Concrete
  • Rebar
  • Local building code regulations
  • Rebar cutter
  • Rebar ties
  • Rebar chairs
  • Tape measure
  • Steel mesh
  • Two-by-four wood beams
  • Nails
  • Stakes

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the entire area where the concrete slab is going to be laid. Surround the area with a two-by-four wooden beam barrier that will serve as a support for the concrete slab, until it cures completely. Secure the barrier in place by nailing it to stakes that are driven into the ground.

  2. 2

    Determine the size and thickness of rebar that is needed in order to adequately support the specific concrete slab. The Renovation Headquarters website explains that the strength of the rebar is determined by the weight that the concrete slab must be able to support. It is important to find out what the state requirements are for selecting and spacing rebar for the particular project.

  3. 3

    Cut the rebar to the necessary length, and align each portion of the rebar horizontally with one to two feet in between each piece, depending on the specific state regulations. Once the rebar has been placed horizontally across the entire area, the same method should be used to place rebar vertically across the same area. The Renovation Headquarters website explains that after all the rebar is in place, rebar ties should be used to secure all the places where the rebar overlaps.

  4. 4

    Move the rebar grid, and place the plastic rebar chairs in place that will elevate the grid two inches above the ground. The Old House Web website explains that some states require individuals to lay steel mesh over the rebar chairs before the rebar grid is reinserted. The Reed Construction Data website is an example of a website that lists the building codes for all fifty states.

  5. 5

    Position the rebar grid over the rebar chairs and wire mesh. Schedule to have a building inspector approve the structure before the concrete is poured. The Renovation Headquarters website explains that the concrete slab must be allowed plenty of time to set in order for the structure to be as strong as possible.

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