Pressure-impulse (P-I) and charge weight-distance (CW-D) diagrams are widely used as quick damage assessment tools for reinforced concrete (RC) elements exposed to blast loading. Depending on the loading and element properties, the blast loading can induce different patterns of response and damage. Appropriate application of different simplified damage assessment tools for both far-field and near-field blast effects can be significantly challenging. This paper presents the comparison of the performances of two commonly used simplified damage assessment methods for RC elements exposed to explosive loading. Different aspects of the simplified damage assessment methods related to their construction and application for damage assessment are investigated. Some specific limitations of construction and use of P-I and CW-D diagrams are explored. Suitability of P-I diagrams for far-field and near-field blast effects is also explored. P-I diagrams are found to provide misleading damage assessment when applied for near-field blast effects.