When you are planning to build or renovate a home, one of the first things you need to consider is how you can make it safer for everyone who lives there. A common way to do this is by installing concrete steps. They are affordable, easy to install and offer a high level of safety.
However, as with anything that involves construction work, they may have a limited lifespan and may need maintenance over time. Knowing how long your concrete steps should last will help you plan for any potential expenses in the future. This article looks at the average lifespan of concrete steps and different factors that affect their longevity.
The Average Lifespan of Concrete Steps
There is no specific lifespan for concrete steps, as it depends on how well they are constructed, how well they are protected from moisture, and many other factors. With good construction practices, a set of concrete steps should last for about 15-20 years. However, it is wise to expect them to need replacing sooner rather than later so you can budget for it in your renovation costs and plan accordingly.
Factors that Affect Longevity of Concrete Steps
Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials in the world due to its versatility, strength, and cost-effectiveness. Similar to other building materials like wood or metal, concrete has a limited lifespan that varies by environment. Exposure to heat, humidity, salt water, chemicals, UV rays, and freeze-thaw cycles can all affect the durability of concrete steps. Let us have a look at these elements in detail.
No one enjoys the inconvenience associated with bad weather, especially when it results in damaged property. In some cases, the damage may be minor and easily fixed. In others, it can be costly and time-consuming. One of the most common types of damage resulting from bad weather is to concrete steps. Whether they are front steps, back steps, or even side steps, they can take a beating when heavy rains or high winds strike.
- Too Much Traffic
Steps are an important part of any structure, but they can be especially tricky when it comes to high traffic areas. Too much traffic can have a negative effect on concrete steps, leading to cracks and other damage.
- Lack of Proper Maintenance
If you are like most people, you probably take your concrete steps for granted. You may not even give them a second thought until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not realize the importance of regular maintenance until it is too late. When concrete steps are not maintained properly, they can also become a safety hazard.
Things to do to Make Concrete Steps Last Longer
Although concrete steps look great and add character to your home, they tend to require a lot of upkeep. That is because concrete is a porous material that can crack and erode over time if you do not take good care of it. This means that you need to pay attention to the condition of your concrete steps on a regular basis so you catch potential problems before they get out of hand.
From simple things like covering them with vines during the summer months, so they stay shaded, to more advanced techniques like mixing stabilizing additives into the cement when pouring the steps, there are plenty of things that you can do in order to keep them looking brand new for several years to come.
Reasons for Regular Concrete Steps Inspection
When it comes to inspecting your concrete steps, there are a few reasons why it is important to do so on a regular basis. By checking for any damage or wear and tear, you can ensure that your steps are safe and in good condition. Additionally, by catching any problems early on, you can save yourself time and money in the long run.
You can decide to do the inspection yourself or hire an expert to help you out. It is always better to hire professionals because they can give you the best possible advice on the condition of your steps.
Well-constructed, quality concrete steps can last for up to 20 years with proper maintenance. However, concrete steps do not usually last that long because homeowners do not properly maintain them. Concrete is a durable material, but it is not invincible. It needs to be sealed and protected from the elements to prevent cracking and staining. A regular cleaning and sealing schedule will help your steps look their best and last as long as possible. In addition to that, fixing small cracks as soon as possible can greatly help the concrete steps last long.