Concrete slabs poured without the reinforcement of either rebar or reinforcing wire are more susceptible to cracks. The surface of non-reinforced slabs tend to deteriorate quickly, necessitating resurfacing or even replacement of the non-reinforced slab. Although it seems unnecessary to reinforce a concrete slab that is merely a walkway or driveway and not the foundation of a building, it will have a much longer and useful life if you install concrete reinforcing wire when pouring the slab. This job is labor-intensive, so the help of an assistant is recommended.
Unroll the reinforcing wire from the roll with a helper's assistance. Cut the wire with a bolt cutter or a hack saw. Because it will bounce back into its rolled state, flip the cut pieces of wire over, putting them on the ground with the convex side up, so they lay flat.
Lay pieces of the reinforcing wire directly on the ground within the framework of the concrete slab you are pouring. The wire comes in rolls 5 feet wide and 100 feet long. Overlap pieces by at least 6 inches and secure them to each other by twisting pieces of wire around the mesh, similar to using a twist tie. Keep the wire about 6 inches from the edge of the concrete slab, so it does not stick out of the edge of the concrete and rust.
Lift up the reinforcing wire as you pour the wet concrete. The wire should not rest directly on the ground beneath the slab, it should rest approximately 1 inch below the surface of the concrete slab. Let go of the wire after you pour it but before you smooth the surface with a concrete trowel. The wire should settle itself approximately 1 to 2 inches below the surface. Push it down, if necessary, to ensure it is completely encased in the wet concrete.
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