Driveway Slab Reinforcement and membranes

Steel reinforcing mesh is used in driveway slabs to control the width and length of cracks in concrete. If the mesh is “walked in” or placed at the bottom of the concrete slab, it is ineffective and won’t control cracks. Ensure your mesh is correctly positioned when pouring by chairing it on bar chairs at 1000 x 1000 centres.

Does a Concrete Driveway need Black Plastic

I was also asked recently if driveway slabs need the black plastic membrane (200 micron polyethylene membrane) under them before pouring.

If you have the plastic on site, then I recommend using it. The purpose it serves is to prevent the dry ground sucking moisture out of the wet concrete. That moisture is needed by the cement powder in the chemical reaction called hydration. Don’t worry if your driveway slab has already been poured without the plastic membrane. Not having it won’t decrease your slab’s strength too much – especially if your concreter wet the ground before pouring.

Got a structural engineering question? Ask us on the contact page or comment here!

Matt Cornell
Cornell Engineers

One thought on “Driveway Slab Reinforcement and membranes”

  1. The plans are coming together for our new home and we are now trying to figure out how we want our driveway to be engineered. Thanks for the information about the importance of steel reinforcing mesh in driveway slabs. We will ensure that the slabs are not walked on, placed at the bottom of the slab, or damaged in any way when going through with this project.

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