It is essential to say that concrete construction is one of the strongest and durable ways to built. So before addressing the drawbacks of concrete houses, it should be clearly stated that built correctly, almost nothing beats a concrete house in therms of strengt, durability, rodent protections, soundproofing and more. However there are always circumstances that can course concrete construction to have its drawbacks.
These concrete exteriors, that constitutes a concrete house, might be built of concrete blocks, cast–in–situ concrete walls, unit construction method or the plastered type of construction.
Building a concrete block house is expensive
The cost of building houses with concrete is estimated to be three times more than wood frames and drywall constructions. The price of concrete blocks varies from one region to another. It is not easy to give an estimate of the general total cost of construction. And hence if you are planning to purchase or build a house with concrete blocks, make sure you do your research and be prepared for a higher budget.
The aesthetic design of a concrete house is often compromised
The cost of construction using concrete is already tremendous. To achieve an aesthetic look means to invest a substantial additional amount in the design process, often leading to procuring customised concrete blocks. The customisation will add another dent in your savings.
If you want an aesthetically rich design, be prepared to spend accordingly. Otherwise, you might end up with a monotonous structure with juxtaposed blocks.
Regional availability of concrete blocks
The regional availability and construction preferences also affect the decision to construct houses using concrete blocks. Some communities don’t fabricate this material and are not adept in construction techniques using concrete. Therefore it is challenging to find exquisite designs, and labour charges are high due to a lack of expertise amongst the community members. There is also a requirement to use reinforcing steel in concrete constructions to increase the strength of the foundation and walls. Steel as a material is problematic to acquire in certain regions. If you were to purchase a concrete house in a locality with scarce resources for its construction, finding skilled labour for future repairs and improvements would be challenging. Also, the cost of the property will be relatively high in those areas.
Improvements and Repairs cost an additional fortune.
On the one hand, the initial construction cost can be recovered in the long term due to lower energy costs; additional investments will still be needed for day-to-day maintenance and repairs. Plumbing and electrical repairs are costly as they require cutting through the concrete blocks to reach the essential services.
It is essential to have fixed access points for services to reduce the cost of repairs. The plumbing and drainage should be effectively designed to prevent flooding in case of leakage.
Damage due to water seepage
Water seepage will be a big issue, especially in areas with a high water table. Concrete material is durable but also porous. With time, water seepage can weaken the concrete and result in the rebar’s rust, reducing the structure’s strength and longevity. It is essential to add layers of waterproofing to minimise the possibility of water seepage. Along with this, the doors and windows installation should be specific to maximise this effort.
Concrete blocks should be designed perfectly to avoid foundation buckling
Foundation buckling occurs due to the pressure of outside soil on foundation walls. The rain seeps into the ground, producing additional hydrostatic pressure against the foundation walls. Concrete is a porous material; hence, absorbed ground water can seep into the concrete, leaving the foundation vulnerable. Therefore the concrete blocks must be designed perfectly. The soil pressure will push the top wall inward, making the foundation wall lean, further increasing the damage and resulting in cracks. Once this phenomenon occurs, no amount of repairing the foundation can save the structure.
The environmental cost of rebuilding and carbon emission
Concrete is the third-largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. Cement manufacturing is alone responsible for approximately 5% of global carbon emissions. Concrete is the primary material in construction and demolition waste, contributing to a third of landfill waste. Recycling concrete is difficult and expensive, reduces its strength and may result in chemical reactions speeding the decay process. Hence, disposing of concrete poses a significant risk to the environment.
If you are an environmental enthusiast, concretes contribution to carbon emission and ecological degradation is worth pondering.
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