The history: Most curbing over the years has been installed without steel reinforcement, and continues to perform very well. Here is a photo of approx 19 year old curb showing some “gaps” from normal ground movement. Of course these gaps can be easily filled with caulking so that grass does not grow in them ( see Edging (care) ).
We were being asked more frequently to add steel reinforcing. In about 2013 we noticed some operators offering this as an option for about $1.00 per foot, so we began to offer it as well. We found a supply that allowed us to offer it for 80 cents then for 50 cents per foot. The thought is, that the curb will stay tighter together. There is some experience to say that this is true, and since using it periodically for 5 years now, we have observed a long term benefit from adding the steel. As cracks develop as normal in the joints, and perhaps the odd random crack, the steel keeps it tighter together. Ground movement is less of an issue, and even tree roots do not disrupt the curb as much.
What we can do, is feed 2000 lb test steel cable into the extrusion as we go with the machine, leaving the cable inside the concrete, tying it all together. Theoretically things will stay tighter for more years. We charge $0.50 per foot for adding steel braided cable to residential curb. Reinforcement is not installed on runs under 8′ long for technical reasons. We are still offering the cable as an upgrade for 50 cents per foot in residential curbing.
The problem is, that Cable is expensive material! The cost adds to the price of the curb, so many people have turned it down. This led us on a quest for a cheaper alternative. At the same time, we had to experiment with modifications to our machinery and techniques in order to facilitate efficient installation of the reinforcement. We are happy now to introduce a cheaper alternative:
Introducing WIRE REINFORCEMENT. It is now standard on ALL our curbs.
In 2017 we experimented by using wire reinforcement on all our curbs. We tested a 600 lb test galvanized wire by installing it at our expense on all residential jobs. We are very pleased with the results, and now plan to install wire on all jobs from here on in. The wire holds the curb together for long term freeze/thaw cycles and keeps gaps tighter, leaving less opportunity for the tufts of grass to grow in the curb joints. There are some limitations: wire cannot be extruded into small shapes or short lines. But otherwise, we feel it is a major improvement to the long term durability of a curb job, so we feel it has to go in on all jobs. Best Curb is the only company in the Edmonton area that INCLUDES steel reinforcement in the price of the curb! Others generally charge $1 per foot.