Using rebar to strengthen and care for a structure is a good idea, whether reinforcing concrete, masonry, or brick, as the properties for each are similar.
The most primary, yet important reason of using rebar for this function is to compensate for the materials’ lack of tension strength. Concrete, masonry, and brick all have an imbalance in tensile load threshold due to their properties, and can suffer damage to both chemical and environmental exposure over time. So rebar is cast into the material to bear the tensile stress.
Steel and concrete are similar in thermal expansion results, so it makes the most sense to support concrete using rebar to minimize structural stress. Differential expansion of two non-related materials would be detrimental to the structure and its foundations.
The steel itself is ridged. This unique surface binds well mechanically to the concrete using friction. However, it can still be removed under high stresses, causing structural instability or collapse. Some guile is needed using rebar here, embedding it directly into adjacent structural pieces, or hooking the ends around other rebar or the concrete itself to aid in the prevention of such disaster. Embedding the rebar increases the friction, locking it more firmly in place, while bending it uses concrete’s strong compression to keep the foundation firm and stable.
Rebar itself is very heavy, especially when being delivered in large bulk orders. Some bundles of rebar can weigh up to ten tons! These need to be unloaded from trucks by a special crane. For these heavy loaded trucks to get in and out of the job site, a special type of mat called a swamp mat is used on the ground as a temporary roadway. Swamp mats are especially useful in damp areas where equipment is easily stuck in the mud.
Strength, yes, but care also is needed using rebar to toughen up a structure. Unfinished steel, which is what common rebar is constructed from, is vulnerable to rusting, damage from environmental or chemical exposure. The cut ends and not needed scraps of rebar should be handled with care when disposing using proper junk removal practices that are environmentally friendly. Common salt from roadways or marine locations can be equally harmful, branching off from mere damage into future costs. Dos and don’ts are both pertinent here.
Care and strength go hand in hand in protecting and insuring the well being of a structure using rebar.