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Do I Need Wire Mesh for a Concrete Sidewalk?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to go to Dorathy in Nebraska who’s about to do some concrete work.

    Dorathy, what you got going on over there?

    DORATHY: What is the importance of using mesh screening or wiring of some degree in cement when laying a cement sidewalk?

    LESLIE: Well it helps it to adhere.

    TOM: Yeah, and it also gives it strength. That’s called woven wire mesh. It’s a heavy, heavy wire. See, concrete by itself is only strong in compression. It’s not strong in tensile strength. And what that means is it can easily crack. But if you have reinforcing steel bars that go through it or the wire mesh, that makes it a lot stronger.

    Now in a sidewalk, typically they don’t put metal mesh in; they don’t put the mesh in there. But if it was like a driveway or a patio, they would. And with a sidewalk, you usually pour it in more narrow pieces and you put expansion joints about every six feet or so or eight feet or so; so that if the slabs of concrete want to start to move, they don’t crack. Is that what you’re doing, Dorathy?

    DORATHY: So then it doesn’t matter whether it’s used or not in a sidewalk section?

    TOM: In a sidewalk it doesn’t matter as much as if it was a concrete patio or driveway. However, having said that, I will tell you that it’s a better job if you use it.

    DORATHY: It would help prevent cracks.

    TOM: That’s correct.

    DORATHY: Thank you.

    TOM: OK, Dorathy?

    DORATHY: Thank you very much. 

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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