What is the average life expectancy of a concrete patio?

Sunday, May 31, 2020

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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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about a home’s SITE:

Why do so many more sinkholes open up after a hurricane?

Should I seal the pavers at my patio and driveway or not? 

What is a flag lot?

How much is the ground required to slope away from a house? 

• What is a chimney sinkhole? How do I recognize structural problems in a retaining wall?  

What are the warning signs of a sinkhole? 

What causes sinkholes? How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole?  

What should I do about a tree with roots running under my house?

Will the electric company trim branches rubbing against the overhead service lines to my house?

How can trees damage a house? 

•  What causes cracks in a driveway?

• What is my chance of buying a Florida home over a sinkhole? 

Which trees are most likely to fall over on your house in a hurricane? 
   Visit our SITE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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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