When it comes to large-scale projects, such as buildings, concrete can last up to 100 years if properly cared for. On the other hand, concrete projects that experience more wear and tear, such as sidewalks and driveways, have an expected lifespan of around 50 years. The design lifespan of most buildings is usually 30 years, although they can last up to 100 years or more. Oftentimes, these structures are demolished due to functional obsolescence rather than deterioration.
However, a concrete structure or building can be reused if the use or function of a building changes or when the interior of a building is renewed. Concrete has the ability to withstand the normal mechanisms of deterioration of nature, as well as natural disasters. In the early 20th century, engineers thought that reinforced concrete structures would last for 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. Concrete durability can be defined as its ability to withstand weather, chemical attack and abrasion while maintaining its desired engineering properties. These are important questions to ask, especially if you've ever had problems with concrete installed by a non-professional. Often, a concrete roof of a building or house can be reused when other materials, such as wood, begin to deteriorate.
Different concretes require different degrees of durability depending on the exposure environment and the desired properties. The new material, called superhydrophobic engineering cementitious composite, is also more malleable than traditional concrete. The Specifier Guide for Durable Concrete (EB221) and Concrete Mixture Design and Control (EB001) provide sufficient information to enable practitioners to select materials and mix design parameters that will result in durable concrete in a variety of environments. The high pH environment in concrete (generally greater than 12) causes a passive protective oxide film to form on the steel.
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. Corrosion-resistant reinforcing steel, concrete thickness, curing, and solid subgrade under new concrete are also very important. Since all concrete buildings look similar to the untrained eye, it is difficult to determine how long one will last without needing serious structural repairs. Concrete ingredients, dosage, interactions between them, placement and curing practices, and service environment all determine the maximum durability and service life of concrete.
However, there are cases where concrete buildings that were built between 100 and 150 years ago are still strong without any damage or problem. In addition to construction materials and design, the longevity of a concrete building is also decided by the foundation.