Designs used in concrete buildings can influence their lifespan. Modern construction techniques have improved the durability of concrete structures compared to those built with traditional methods. Concrete houses are expected to last between 30 and 100 years. A poorly constructed building that falls into disrepair after all units are sold cannot last more than 35 to 40 years before developing serious failures, along with all related hazards to occupants.
The life expectancy of a timber-framed house with concrete foundations can exceed one hundred years, provided the home is properly maintained and cared for. Naturally, homes that are built with quality materials and good workmanship will outlast those that are poorly built. Engineers in the early 20th century thought that reinforced concrete structures would last a long time, perhaps 1000 years. In reality, their lifespan is more than 50 to 100 years, and sometimes less.
Building codes and policies generally require buildings to survive for several decades, but deterioration can begin in as little as 10 years. For large-scale projects, such as buildings, concrete should last up to 100 years if properly cared for. Concrete projects that experience the most wear and tear, such as sidewalks and driveways, have an expected lifespan of approximately half of 50 years. For larger projects, such as buildings and homes, the concrete should last 30 to 100 years or longer, depending on the construction style and installation method. Concreting is a popular construction method because it is durable and low maintenance. When done correctly, concreting can result in a beautiful and long-lasting finish.
Often, a concrete roof of a building or house can be reused when other materials, such as wood, begin to deteriorate. The structural material of concrete is used as it will withstand the elements of nature, including regular weather and natural disasters. How long does the wall of a concrete house last? Concrete houses can last between 50 and 60 years, depending on the quality of the construction. However, it is likely to degrade sooner, if the quality is not good.
Countless concrete buildings are being built around the world for residential and commercial purposes. For example, a concrete floor inside a building will last decades longer than a concrete sidewalk that is outside and exposed to the elements. Writer Robert Courland, in his book Concrete Planet, estimates that the costs of repairing and rebuilding concrete infrastructure, in the United States alone, will be trillions of dollars, which will be paid by future generations. Concrete also makes up the largest proportion of construction and demolition waste, accounting for approximately one-third of all landfill waste.
In general, it's important to consider the environment, the installation process, the concrete used, and the climate of the area to determine how long the concrete will last. However, there are cases where concrete buildings that were built between 100 and 150 years ago are still strong without any damage or problem.