3 Reasons Post Tension May Be Used In Your Decorative Concrete

For a long time, the primary way of reinforcing concrete slabs or structures was through the use of rebar for extra rigidity and structure, but these days, concrete is used in far many more ways than it used to be. Therefore, new ways of providing structure and support are a necessity. Post-tensioning involves running steel cables through drilled holes in the concrete and tightening these cables to the desired tension. The process sounds complicated, but it is actually fairly simple, and it provides much more stability in certain concrete structure types. Here is a look at a few reasons post-tensioning may be used in your decorative concrete. 

The decorative concrete is thinner than the usual slab. 

When concrete pieces need to be low height or thin, they do need some support inside so weight from the concrete itself does not cause stress fractures over time. There are a few good examples of thin concrete work that is decorative in nature, including: 

  • thin mimicked stone pieces
  • thin concrete countertops
  • thin concrete curbs with ornate sections

The small tensioning cables inside of these decorative features will allow for the structure of the concrete material to remain stable and durable for long periods of time without the need for ongoing repairs. 

The decorative concrete will be installed without a lower support structure. 

Say you are having a small concrete ledge installed in your landscape that is intended to look like a natural protruding stone. This kind of concrete decor is common in large landscapes where there is not a lot of visual variation. In order for the concrete to protrude without an underlying support system from the ground, it will need inner support from post-tensioning techniques. 

The decorative concrete will be part of the home's structure. 

If you are having concrete flooring installed, especially if the concrete will be on an upper floor of the house, you should expect to see post-tensioning used to enhance the structural soundness of the slabs. When concrete is integrated in a way that is decorative but will also combine as a structural feature that must withhold some level of support, it is pretty common for extra cabling to be installed as a safeguard and for added protection of the material. 

The fact is, with all of the ways concrete is used in the modern home, the techniques of installation have had to change to keep up. If you want to know more about post tension and concrete, talk to a concrete contractor for more information.

To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Post-Tension, LLC