concrete driveway: thickness ; mesh or not ?

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Some form of reinforcing is needed because while concrete is extremely strong in compression it is weak in tension. Steel is very strong in tension and the two combined are far more durable. Odds are the contractor who is bidding the job would not consider pouring a driveway without reinforcement. In the long run it's his reputation. An extra inch of thickness adds 3 cu yds of concrete to the 1000sf job and might mean a truck is less likely to damage the slab. You want a well compacted surface before the pour, and you want to keep it moist for a month after the pour to develop it's best strength.
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It takes less than two yards of concrete to add an inch to 1000 square feet, so the $550 is out of line. Also, you'll want at least 5" and 1/2" rebar on 2' centers each direction. the mesh will do nothing. For comparison, I had a 1200' area covered with 5" and the above described rebar for $2700. Don't let 'em stab ya, call several flatwork companies. There are plenty out there.
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Steve Barker




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I calculated wrong. An additional ONE inch on 1000 sq ft. will require right at 3 yards. So the $550 is still a bit steep. Around here (KC area) concrete is right at $100 a yard with calcium and hot water. Probably a bit cheaper for a summer mix.
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Steve Barker




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fredinstl wrote:

Can't imagine what fiber mesh is good for. Wire or (better) rebar accomplishes the following:
When there's a slight perturbation in the ground, or freezing/thawing cycles, the concrete cracks. The rebar prevents the opposite sides of the crack from moving vertically or horizontally. In other words, you simply have a hairline crack instead of a two-inch step or a one-inch gap.
There are often posts here about what to use to fill a gap in a concrete drive. In ALL cases, it's a drive without rebar.
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fredinstl wrote:

In my area they are using a lot of concrete with fiberglass fibers in the mix. It does the same thing as wire mesh and rebar - keeps any small cracks from becoming big cracks. I have a double wide drive, the original side with concrete/wire and the other newer side with fiberglass imbedded concrete only. After 14 years of comparison, there is no structural difference between the two sides. -KC
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