How long does concrete last?

Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world. In the early 20th century, it was a general belief that structures that were reinforced with concrete would last several hundred years, but the reality is somewhat different. Let’s take a look at the key factors that influence concrete’s longevity.

Image credit


The environmental conditions to which concrete is exposed can significantly impact its lifespan.

Excessive temperatures can cause expansion and contraction, which can result in fissures and structural damage. At the opposite end of the spectrum, water inside the concrete can freeze and thaw repeatedly in very cold climates, causing cracks.

Moisture has an impact. It can cause steel reinforcements to corrode and damage the foundations. Conversely, a very dry environment can cause fissures.

Additionally, concrete can be damaged by acid rain, emissions, saltwater, strong winds, and seismic activity.

Material quality

As concrete is made of several components, each of these must be of high enough quality to ensure a prolonged lifespan. The components include cement, water, and aggregates.

If you need a reliable source of quality concrete, there are a number of specialists in concrete Stroud and the surrounding areas. Suppliers such as Monster Mix Concrete can offer you advice and a range of options to suit your needs.

Maintenance and repair

Regular maintenance and repairs, including sealing, visual inspections, and cleaning, can all impact the lifespan of concrete. Any issues that are identified should be dealt with as soon as possible to ensure integrity.

Design and structure

The longevity of concrete is dependent on design factors such as reinforcement, load-bearing capability, and structural detailing.


Repetitive heavy loads, such as traffic, can put significant pressure on concrete. This can potentially cause splits or fractures.

Image credit

So how long does it really last?

Although some concrete structures have lasted many centuries, the average expected life is between 50 and 100 years. Whether the lifespan is at the lower or higher end of this range is dependent on several factors, including – but not limited to – those outlined above.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.