Should my driveway have any type of reinforcement?
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
The short answer is YES. Before we get a bit more in-depth, what are the types
of material that can be added to your driveway/patio to reinforce it?
The 3 most common materials are:
- Wire Mesh
What are those materials?
Fiber Reinforced Concrete
is a mixture of different types of fiber mixed into the concrete to increase its structural integrity. Adding Fiber can reduce cracks, increase impact resistance, and increase concrete strength.
is a common type of metal screen consisting of parallel rows and intersecting columns of wire.
Wire mesh makes a square grid pattern which is laid down before the concrete gets poured.
rebar is undoubtedly stronger than wire mesh. For thicker driveways and locations that involve greater traffic, rebar is always a good option to consider.
Those are the 3 most common materials used to reinforce a concrete slab.
Based on the ACI (American Concrete Institute) guidelines, it is not required to reinforce a concrete slab (driveway/patio) of 4 inches thickness. We have done many driveways and patios where our client didn’t want to add any reinforcement in their slabs and they are still in perfect conditions.
CRACKS, yes, concrete does crack! We don't like it either but it’s bound to happen, that is why we do install control joints, therefore if it cracks, it happens inside the joint. Typically concrete cracks very soon after it’s poured, often the same day. We do everything to control cracking but unfortunately, there’s no guarantee it will not crack in other places.
Choosing one of those 3 options will only help strengthen the integrity of the concrete. Rebar being the strongest is your best option. But wire mesh being cheaper than rebar, is great for driveways, it will help evenly distribute the weight of cars on your driveway.