Concrete pavement is highly durable and has a lifespan of around 20 to 40 years, which is about twice the life of asphalt pavement. The durability of concrete pavement comes from its composition, which includes an aggregate of materials, as well as cement and water. In order to maximize the life of concrete, a good mixture must be proportioned with care so that it becomes more robust to water, salt, and other factors of erosion such as weather.
A good mix is usually around 15 percent cement, 20 percent water, and around 65 percent of medium and fine aggregate materials.
Installing Concrete Pavement
Another significant factor that prolongs the life of the concrete pavement is proper installation. The base ground that concrete pavement is installed upon needs to be properly prepared so that it contains less moisture and areas susceptible to cold. In addition to apt preparation of the natural ground, a subbase consisting of a uniform layer of sand or gravel is installed which needs to be distributed evenly throughout. This gives the concrete greater structural health, and makes it more resistant to cracking and other damages in the future. Once the base of the area is sufficiently prepared and the sub-base laid, the concrete pavement can be installed.
After the concrete is installed its life can be prolonged further with proper care and maintenance. Clearing the pavement of puddles, ice or snow can help prolong its life. Additionally, if any cracks or fissures appear sealing them as soon as possible can prevent water from seeping into the base and compromising its integrity. While having a greater upfront cost than asphalt (which varies according to a number of factors), concrete pavement becomes the more cost-effective solution over the longer term due to its requiring less maintenance over its life and its superior durability.