How-to Micro Rebar - ICF Builders’ Guide to Innovative Concrete Reinforcement - Helix Steel - Feature Image

Building Better Homes Starts with ICF and Helix Micro Rebar

There’s an innovative solution to conventional labor-intensive, time-consuming processes in ICF construction and it’s only produced by Helix Steel.

It’s called Helix Micro Rebar, a one-inch twisted piece of steel that is taking the ICF world by storm. Recently, Helix Steel’s Senior Account Executive Erica Marr was invited onto the popular “Build With ICF” podcast to share with listeners the value of building with this tiny, yet revolutionary reinforcement.

“Everyone’s talking about Helix,” started podcast co-host Trevor Brown. “When we talk about the future of the industry, it’s probably one of the first things that come up.”

Why Helix Micro Rebar?

Concrete Needs Reinforcement. There’s a Rebar Alternative That’s More Than Just a Fiber - Helix Steel 01

“Helix Micro Rebar is a replacement for rebar and mesh in precast, ICF and slabs,” says Erica Marr. “Any application where you have concrete, there’s a place for Helix to make labor easier, and to speed up your time schedules. Helix is the solution.”

Marr explains in the podcast that the concrete reinforcement is the only code-approved replacement for rebar in vertical structures. By adding it into concrete instead of using rebar, there will be significant savings in time and labor.

Most veteran contractors are often left frustrated and overworked with having to deal with rebar. They dislike the installation processes and the current labor challenges.

“It really sells to the guys on the job site,” commented podcast co-host Heather Herring-Brown. “How would you like not to have to cut or bend rebar?” The result is less rebar, less less time waiting for inspections and less time installing rebar and concrete placement.

There’s also the issue of rebar rusting. Most contractors have rebar sitting outside in the elements rusting away. Helix Micro Rebar is galvanized, so it is more than able to withstand corrosion before it’s mixed with concrete.

Rebar and its frustrating installation method is one of the worst aspects of ICF construction commented Brown. “It’s the negative of installing…Most guys love two-pound blocks and slamming them together like Lego for big kids.”

Helix Micro Rebar is here to let contractors know that they don’t have to struggle with their challenges alone. There’s help in Helix!

Getting Started With Helix Micro Rebar

Brown wanted to know more about how contractors can switch to Helix Micro Rebar and said to Marr, “Let’s say a new customer wants to use it. Their engineer is not familiar with it. Their jurisdiction may or may not be familiar with it. How do they get started working with Helix and go through those approvals?”

Marr explained that the first step when someone contacts their team is often showing them Helix Steel’s ICC evaluation report. Marr added, “We’re really trying to make [Helix Micro Rebar] accessible. One of the things we’ve been focusing on is the ICC evaluation reports to make it easy…You can take it to a ready-mixer or engineer.”

This document covers information needed to understand common dosages and calculations for single-family houses, two-family houses (duplexes) and buildings consisting of three or more townhouse units.

For unique projects that fit outside the tables, Helix Steel’s in-house engineering team works on a solution and can deliver a customized dosage calculation.

“We have a full structural engineering team,” Marr said. “If I don’t know something, I know someone who does.” She added that Helix Steel has connections with all of the major ICF distributors and can easily obtain all of the information for contractors to use any of them with Helix Micro Rebar.

“I do the legwork for you,” said Marr. “I’ll take calls from code officials. I’ll field calls from an engineer with questions. I go out and call DOTs. I get approvals for my customers.”

Helix Steel is always striving to make changes when it comes to code – to move the industry forward. More people than ever are realizing that ICF is the future, with some American school districts choosing to exclusively build with ICF. And Helix Micro Rebar is playing a big role in making this happen.

Adding Helix Micro Rebar in Concrete for ICF Builds

ICF Handeeman

Most of the time, Helix Micro Rebar is added at the batch plant. Often, Marr said in the podcast, the ready-mixer has a conveyor to add the Helix Micro Rebar in quickly and easily. The concrete arrives at the construction site ready to pour.

Is it difficult? Absolutely not. There’s no guessing since Helix Steel has its own batching, dosing and mixing instructions. Helix Steel’s team even walks ready-mixers through the process.

Take the Next Step to Better the World

Listen to the full podcast to learn more about one of Marr’s most memorable Helix Steel experiences, and continue your ICF journey with the many other interesting discussions regularly being updated by our friends at the “Build With ICF” podcast.

If you have a question about using Helix Micro Rebar in ICF construction, reach out to Erica Marr, Senior Account Executive at Helix Steel, at or call 734-322-2114.