Rebar exposed to dirt should have 3 inches of cover. Formed
concrete should have 1 1/2" of cover. Most curbs do not have
steel. They do have load transfer dowels at joints - these are 1"
thick slick dowels about a foot long.
In commercial work, the 4 bars in the footing would typically have
#3 cages (stirrups) at a particular spacing, usually 12" c-c.
These beam reinforcements are usually hung in the forms, spaced
away from form surfaces, and poured.
The Corps of Engineers and other architectural concrete agencies
will not allow driving pins in the dirt to support reinforcement.
The contention is that said rebar will rust and the rust will get
into the rest of the reinforcement.
There are sure many installations on driven pins. I have dug up
old work that has been in the ground for over 50 years where the
rust had no gotten to the pins in the dirt, much less the grade
beam steel. I have dug up old footings, etc where the cage steel
was exposed to the dirt (was not spaced away and covered
properly), the rebar had rust, but was very viable.
Your call. It's your stuff. If the fellas are making an honest
effort at holding the steel to grade, providing temporary spacers
to keep the steel away from the dirt, plan to use a vibrator, and
can show other pours with a decent finish, I think I would leave
them alone. These issues should have all been resolved before
they ever started, to change now sounds like a recipe for
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
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