How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of a concrete patio?
Sunday, May 31, 2020
How long does a concrete patio last?
You can expect a concrete patio to last about 30 to 50 years, with an average of 40 years, except that the freeze/thaw cycles and salt de-icers in colder climates are not kind to concrete and will shorten the life expectancy below that range. The large range is due to the many factors that can reduce lifespan, such as:
•• Inadequate prep of ground below slab, such as adding a layer of base fill, if necessary, and compaction.
•• Adding too much water to mix, which weakens the concrete and promotes hairline shrinkage cracks. See our blog post What is concrete shrinkage?
•• Lack of, or inadequate, steel mesh and/or fiber reinforcing.
•• Not adequately scoring the concrete as necessary, to contain any minor cracks within the score cuts. See our blog post Why are there score line grooves in the concrete floor of the garage? for more on this.
•• Tree roots growing under slab, soil movement under slab.
Here’s a graph that compares concrete patio life expectancy to other patio/deck materials.
Eventually, all exterior concrete slabs crack and become unsightly. Then the lifted edges of the cracks become a trip hazard. Minor cracks can be filled and raised edges ground down, but each homeowner has a different point at which they decide it’s time for replacement. For the ADA definition of a trip hazard, go to What floor level change is a trip hazard?
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about a home’s SITE:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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