If you're adding a concrete structure to your property, one of the things you should think about is how you can reinforce it. Adding reinforcement will help the structure stand up against weathering and crumbling. One of the best things you can use for reinforcing concrete is wire mesh. Whether you're pouring a patio, walkway or even a vertical structure, wire mesh may help you add a little bit of structural support. Here's a look at what you should know about wire mesh and how it can help you.
Understanding Gauge And Grid
Wire mesh comes in many different gauges. Those ratings indicate how thick the wire is that's used for the mesh. The thicker the wire, the stronger the mesh should be. You can also find the mesh in many different patterns, also called grids. These different structures will enhance the strength of the mesh, too. The tighter the grid, the stronger the mesh will be. Your concrete contractor can help you find the right balance of gauge and grid for the project you're working on.
Choosing Rolls or Flat
Wire mesh is available in both large rolls and flat sheets. For large vertical projects that need an inner core, this is often the best choice. Some contractors prefer flat sheets instead. They don't curl when you install them like the rolled mesh can. These sheets come in squares and rectangles, both in large sizes. You can cut them to fit your project or use them as-is if you're doing large jobs.
Cut wire mesh to fit the space you're working in or to fit the shape you're trying to support. Hold it up with metal slats to keep it elevated so that it ends up in the middle of the concrete, not sitting on the bottom. Slowly pour concrete into the space until it fills in to the level of the mesh. Let the concrete set up partially, then remove the slats. It's important that the concrete is partially set first, because that's what ensures that the mesh stays in place when you pull the supports out.
Using mesh to support your concrete structure will help you to reinforce the design and add a bit of stability. This helps to reduce the risk of structural loss due to soil erosion or other problems. Ask your concrete contractor about the availability of wire mesh when you schedule your ready mix concrete delivery for the job.