To the average person, concrete can seem like an indestructible material. It can form huge structures, can be nearly completely weatherproof and lasts for years–but what is the actual lifespan of concrete? Let’s take a closer look at how long you can expect concrete to last, and what you can do to help improve the lifespan of your own concrete projects.
The fact of the matter is that not all concrete is the same, as a result, the lifespan of concrete varies from concrete feature to concrete feature. There are a number of factors that influence the lifespan of concrete. The primary ones are: ingredients in the mix, proportion of those ingredients, weather and environment where the concrete feature resides and the process and curing techniques used when the concrete is poured.
Different concrete mixes are designed to accomplish different tasks. Some concrete mixes are made to dry quickly, others are designed to be as strong as possible. The difference in those mixes has a direct effect on the lifespan of that concrete. That’s why it’s so important to plan ahead and get the right mix for your needs.
Weather and the environment are major factors when it comes to determining the lifespan of concrete. For example, a concrete floor that’s in the interior of a building is going to last decades longer than a concrete sidewalk that is outside and exposed to the elements.
Of course, the weather is different depending on where you are. If you live somewhere that experiences extreme temperatures, the lifespan of your concrete is going to be significantly less than in a more temperate environment.
It is worth mentioning that there are concrete mixes out there that are specifically designed to withstand extreme weather. If you do live in an area where that concrete is going to be exposed to various weather patterns, using the appropriate mix will substantially increase the lifespan of the final product.
Another factor worth mentioning is upkeep. If you want your concrete to last decades, it may need some TLC from time-to-time. Often that means reapplying a protective coating every few years regularly making sure the concrete is kept clean and clear of any debris.
For large scale projects like buildings, concrete should last up to 100 years if it’s properly cared for. Concrete projects that experience more wear-and-tear like sidewalks and driveways have an expected lifespan of about half that—50 years.
Concrete cannot last forever, but it can last for decades if it’s properly mixed, installed and cared for. The fact of the matter is that the lifespan of your concrete project is in your hands. Of course, if you have any concerns at all it’s always a good idea to reach out to a concrete professional.
Visit www.razorbackconcrete.com to learn more.