Does concrete need to be reinforced?

Concrete is a robust and versatile material used in nearly every area of construction. It consists of water, cement, and aggregate materials that harden to form a rock-solid structure. Concrete is durable on its own, but it becomes even stronger with steel reinforcement. That is why reinforced concrete has become an industry staple.

Why is concrete reinforced with steel?

Concrete was invented back in 1849 as a way to speed up construction. Workers could create structures and building blocks on site instead of hauling stone to a location. Concrete can withstand tremendous compression, but it does not do well with tension. That is where the reinforcement comes in. 

Rebar, short for reinforcing bar, is a steel bar with ridges on the outside. It is typically laid in a grid pattern to support tension from multiple directions. Steel and concrete expand and contract simultaneously, making steel a perfect match for structural support. The ridges on the rebar grip onto concrete as it dries to create a fordable bond between the materials. The result is sturdy reinforced concrete that is strong enough for buildings, parking garages, community spaces, and more. 

Does all concrete need to be reinforced?

Any concrete that supports a heavy load should be reinforced. However, not all concrete structures need that kind of support. A small garden pathway or a pad under a playhouse probably won’t require reinforcement. Driveways, foundation slabs, building exteriors, bridges, columns, and the like need the extra strength of rebar to stand up to long-term wear. 

Drawbacks to reinforced concrete

Despite the many advantages of reinforced concrete, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind. Rebar is prone to corrosion, which may hurt the structural integrity of the concrete. The corrosion may stain the surface of the concrete, creating a rust-color that is difficult to remove. 

Thankfully, you can avoid these issues with proactive maintenance. Routine concrete inspections can identify signs of corrosion early on when they are easier to remedy.

JK Industries offers concrete inspections, concrete restoration, masonry services, graffiti cleaning, and other solutions. If you’re looking for a concrete repair company in Oklahoma City, OK, contact us at 405-285-9800.