The lifespan of any concrete building is somewhere between 75 to 100 years, in the most ideal conditions. However, an average age of a house is around 40 years while the average age of an apartment is close to 60 years. This lifespan however can be increased with minimal maintenance.
Whether you are looking to buy a house or apartment or living-in one, one basic concern remains is the slow degradation that your property might have to go through over the years. Though green and eco-friendly constructions definitely have a longer life span, the age of normal properties can also be increased by basic maintenance like painting, handpicking right material, etc.
In order to assist people, surveyors reached out to Bhuvan Ashish, principal architect, IdeinLab Architects and M Rahamn Baig, principal architect, Evolve Architecture Studio who advised about how one can maintain value of their home over the years. Read on:
The basic reason behind degradation of a house is its constant interaction with its immediate environment and to all kinds of abuse from its inmates. All the service lines, the water-ways, the other allied services are under constant usage (in many cases even 24×7) which leads them to be worn out. Besides, inexpertly designed homes, poorly designed window/door openings, poor construction quality, inferior quality of waterproofing, paints, workmanship and plumbing layouts also leads to property aging before time.
The degradation of individual homes is much lesser and slower compared to an apartment, wherein the common services are shared amongst all the inmates of the apartment complex.
How can we increase the lifespan of such properties?
It is very important that good quality and long lasting materials like natural stones are used while construction.
Practices like regular cleaning, safe segregation and disposal of household waste, frequent painting, yearly checking and addressing for any termite or dampness at plinth levels and walls, regular pest control and yearly polishing/painting wooden elements like door and window frames helps maintain good shape of the building structure.
Region or geography also plays a key role in the lifespan of a building. For example, a house in Chennai will suffer considerable degradation to its exterior facade due to high heat and humidity factor while a house in Cherrapunji will suffer considerable degradation due to constant moisture, water seepage, wall dampness, air cracks, etc. which brings down the average age considerably.
However, by choosing locally available and sustainably sourced materials, coupled with efficient design and effective ways of using them, we can increase the lifespan of these structures to suit our requirements.
Metal elements, such as windows railing and fabricated facade elements will rust faster due to high salt content in sea breeze, hence, must be avoided.
All these precautions can easily be carried out by anyone and does not require any special services by professionals. And if these advices are followed, one can expect a longer lifespan of the building/house/apartment and at the same time improves the living conditions of the inmates.