How to Use Fencing to Reinforce Concrete
Concrete dries into a hard stonelike material, though over time most concrete will crack or crumble in some way. Concrete is often reinforced with rebar or a welded wire mesh, but you can accomplish the same task if you have chain link fencing left over from other projects. By weaving smaller metal bars into the chain fence you can create a sturdy reinforcement for your concrete that will combine the rigidity of rebar with the area coverage of wire mesh.
Things You Will Need
- Chain link fence mesh
- Metal bars or heavy wire cable
- Lumber and nails for shaping concrete pour area
- Wire cutter
- Concrete mix
- Concrete trough
Spread out the chain link fence. Pull the fence tight, then weave metal bars or heavy wire into the fence at regular intervals. Make sure that you place the bars or wire both lengthwise and widthwise into the fencing.
Build up an enclosure around the area where you will pour your concrete using lumber and nails. Once filled, this enclosure will create the shape of the concrete you pour and will prevent it from running while it dries.
Create supports for your fence using pieces of the metal bar or small bricks. Your goal is to have the fence and its grid of bars or wire suspended halfway through the concrete so that it will provide additional strength to the middle. No part of the fence or supports should extend above the concrete or into any area where it will be seen.
Cut the wire of the chain link fence to better fit the area of the concrete. This will prevent pieces of metal being visible in the concrete as would happen if you cut the fence after the concrete had dried.
Mix and pour the concrete according to package directions. Let the concrete settle, then use a trough to finish the concrete surface as normal. As the concrete sets and hardens it will have the chain link fencing material and bars or wire in its core to provide it with additional strength.
For thicker concrete slabs, adding multiple layers of fencing material will provide additional strength throughout the concrete.