What is Reinforced Concrete vs. Prestressed Concrete?

If you’re planning to build a big project, finding the proper materials is crucial. So, just what is reinforced concrete and what is prestressed concrete? Both forms of concrete are reinforced with rebar, or longitudinal and transverse steel bars. These bars strengthen the concrete when it’s under heavy stress, which helps to keep your construction solid and secure. However, these composite materials differ in ways that can have a significant impact on your final outcomes. Let’s go into the uses of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete.

What is Reinforced Concrete?

Reinforced concrete is one of the most widely used composite materials in construction. It’s easily workable, it’s strong, and it’s available just about everywhere. When using reinforced concrete, steel bars are placed into the formwork ahead of time. Concrete is poured over the formwork, and vibrations remove air pockets while evenly distributing the materials. Because the concrete is poured into a customized form, it allows the builder to choose both conventional and unconventional shapes – which can really open up your architectural options. Some of the most common uses of reinforced concrete include:

  • – Columns
  • – Beams
  • – Foundations
  • – Dams
  • – Bridges
  • – Highway paving
  • – Sidewalks

What is Prestressed Concrete?

While reinforced concrete is formed at rest, prestressed concrete is formed under stress. Steel bars are placed in a form and stretched at both ends as the concrete is poured in. This gives the final product a greater degree of tensile strength, which makes it a common choice for large-scale projects like highway overpasses and commercial buildings. Prestressed concrete also falls into numerous subcategories that you might recognize, including:

  • – Pre-Tensioned Concrete: Tendons are tensioned before the concrete is cast.
  • – Bonded Post-Tensioned Concrete: Tendons are bonded after tendon tensioning.
  • – Unbonded Post-Tensioned Concrete: Tendons retain free movement relative to the concrete, moving inside a plastic coating with lithium-based lubrication.
Leveling Concrete

Find Out More with The BrickKicker

The BrickKicker is here to help with all of your construction and inspection needs. We offer our expertise in both residential and commercial markets. Feel free to contact us with your questions and we’ll be happy to help.

The BrickKicker COVID-19 Response 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted businesses and markets all across the globe.

At The BrickKicker, our reputation has continued to stand tall during these times of uncertainty just as it has over the last 30 years. We continue to strive for highest regards to transparency and reliability, ensuring our customers will continue to count on us. With that, it is important for us to share how we are managing our business during these uncertain times.

First and foremost, we will continue to be laser focused on monitoring all WHO, CDC & DOC broadcasts to a) guarantee The BrickKicker is contributing to keeping our community safe & healthy and b) to take advantage of additional resources available to offer comfort to our employees and clients alike.

Our team at The BrickKicker will remain committed to delivering full operational support throughout the weeks and months ahead. For the continued safety of all our employees and staff, we are still asking to keep the number of those attending the inspection to a bare minimum, if any at all. Our inspectors are equipped with SentriLock access (with proper agent approval) and take plenty of photos during the inspection to produce a very detailed report. Oh, and no need need to be a worry of missing valuable information or stress over deadlines, our team is great about getting the reports out within 24 hours or often the same day.

Each inspector will be disinfecting all tools, self and vehicles after each inspection and may even wear gloves and masks on sight. This will help ensure we minimize the spread of this disease as much as possible.

In addition, our staff is fully available as if we never shut down, via phone or website to answer any questions that come up once reviewing the inspection report. The inspection is often an educational session, we must not lose sight of this. To make things as efficient and safe as possible, our inspection agreement and payment can be made electronically, via the confirmation email that went out upon booking.

We wish to remind our clients that we have a full service team supporting all your needs and it is the strength of our team that will allow us to continue to maintain our high service levels in the months ahead.

In fact, The BrickKicker isn’t stopping here to service our customers during this difficult time. We have expanded our availability and will assist with pricing concerns as they arise in order to keep services going. 

Despite taking all precautions, we strongly recommend our clients to contact us in regards to changing inspection dates in the short term, and to provide us with any questions they have up front so that we can ensure all gets answered by the time the report is delivered.

Finally, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or call with any requests or questions you may have.

Thank you,


Andrew Fox