If you want concrete to perform its duties to the fullest, you must not only specify correctly, but you have to follow the specifications exactly as presented.

While using rebar as a reinforcement is a familiar method, there are significant short—and long-term issues when modern alternatives are not chosen. Mistakes can happen and depending on the job site they can be far too frequent.

Here are just a few common mistakes to avoid when specifying concrete reinforcement to ensure its 100% effectiveness for many years to come.

Incorrect Structural Design

An engineer’s structural design must take into account the absolute maximum load, including dead loads, live loads, wind loads and seismic loads. The best concrete designs ensure that a structure can handle high stress without failure, which is why trusting a qualified structural engineer to develop a comprehensive design (meeting all codes and standards) is essential.

For those seeking the convenience and knowledge found in pre-approved structural reinforcement designs, trust the engineering team at Helix Steel. We have decades of experience in designing Helix Micro Rebar for a wide range of concrete applications.

Wrong Concrete Reinforcement Materials Specified

Using the incorrect rebar or mesh can compromise the integrity of the entire concrete structure. As you know, rebar comes in various grades, each with different yield strengths. Added to this complexity is that rebar is often stored outdoors and subjected to harsh elements over long periods of time, resulting in corrosion, which is one of the leading causes of deterioration in concrete.

If you are seeking an alternative, let Helix Steel help with its screw-shaped reinforcement that’s coated to reduce corrosion. Helix Micro Rebar can increase fatigue resistance by up to 300% and flexural strength by up to 33%

Improper Rebar Placement

Designs are essential, but if rebar or mesh is placed incorrectly, the concrete will not perform as intended. Whether there is not enough time built into the schedule, an inexperienced crew, or distractions, the reasons for placement errors are endless. Common errors include incorrect horizontal/vertical placement, insecure rebar ties and misalignment, and are seemingly always issues that need to be addressed when using mesh and rebar.

Take time to review specifications and communicate effectively to ensure placement errors are minimized.

Inadequate Concrete Cover

Concrete cover protects mesh and rebar from environmental factors that can cause deterioration. Without the right cover, your concrete will have issues

You can follow the minimum cover requirements specified in the design codes and hope things turn out in your favour or you could trust a tiny twisted reinforcement that is mixed with concrete to create a composite concrete solution. With the second option, you don’t need to worry about the concrete cover as the reinforcement is evenly dispersed throughout the concrete.

Skipping Detailing Requirements

If your detailing is not precise and completed by a qualified engineer, you could have specifications that do not fully describe instructions on the size and placement of rebar or mesh.

Helix Micro Rebar has pre-approved specifications for many standard applications, including slabs and walls, that can be accessed through Helix Steel’s own online Specification Tool. This helps to reduce the threat of mistakes since these exact specifications have been used countless times before. Simply following the instructions will reduce construction errors and structural deficiencies.

Another bonus when using Helix Micro Rebar is that we have a team of project managers and in-house engineers who work with you to ensure every step of the concrete placement process goes smoothly.

Improper Rebar Support During Concrete Placement

Reinforcement bars and mesh require support to maintain their position and alignment during concrete placement. Adequate bar supports, such as chairs and spacers, must be used to hold the rebar in the correct position, or the longevity of the concrete will be greatly reduced. (Unless you use Helix Micro Rebar of course.)

Improper Rebar Support During Concrete Placement

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.

Lack of Placement Coordination

Communication is a key unsung hero in any concrete placement project. Being able to confirm information quickly and efficiently with designers, contractors and construction workers is vital to every project’s success.

Coordination issues often lead to mistakes and delays, and create an unhealthy work environment. Be sure to have frequent meetings and clear communication on specifications, approvals, site safety, trade coordination, concrete placement and finishing.

Reduce Placement Errors & Make Concrete Better With Helix Micro Rebar

Together, let’s do what we can to avoid mistakes. Many of those you just read can be avoided simply by changing a key material in your project: concrete reinforcement.

Helix Micro Rebar’s pre-specified designs and team to assist you throughout the process certainly help to reduce errors and create a better end product. It starts with better specifications, created by Helix Steel and code-approved in many structural applications throughout North America.

Reach out to our project management teams to learn more about Helix Micro Rebar and how our team of professionals is passionate about moving the concrete industry forward.