Component Life Expectancies

Typical life expectancies for most components found in homes are listed below. These life expectancies have been determined through research and testing based on regular recommended maintenance and conditions of normal wear and tear, and not extreme weather (or other) conditions, neglect, over-use or abuse.  Therefore, they should be used as guidelines only, and not relied upon as guarantees or warranties. 

 

Surface preparation and paint quality are the most important determinants of a paint’s life expectancy. Ultraviolet (UV) rays via sunshine can shorten life expectancy.  Additionally, conditions of high humidity indoors or outdoors can affect the lifespan of these components, which is why they should be inspected and maintained seasonally.

 

ADHESIVES, CAULK & PAINTSYEARS

Caulking (interior & exterior)5 to 10

Construction Glue20+

Paint (exterior)7 to 10

Paint (interior)10 to 15

Roofing Adhesives/Cements15+

Sealants8

Stains3 to 8

 

 

Appliance life expectancy depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Furthermore, consumers often replace appliances long before they become worn out due to changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences.

 

APPLIANCES      YEARS

Air Conditioner (window)5 to 7

Compactor (trash)6

Dehumidifier8

Dishwasher9

Disposal (food waste)12

Dryer Vent  (plastic)5

Dryer Vent  (steel)20

Dryer (clothes)13

Exhaust Fans10

Freezer10 to 20

Gas Oven10 to 18

Hand Dryer10 to 12

Humidifier (portable)8

Microwave Oven9

Range/Oven Hood14

Electric Range13 to 15

Gas Range15 to 17

Refrigerator9 to 13

Swamp Cooler5 to 15

Washing Machine5 to 15

Whole-House Vacuum System20

 

 

Modern kitchens today are larger and more elaborate.  Together with the family room, they now form the “great room.”

 

CABINETRY & STORAGE   YEARS

Bathroom Cabinets50+

Closet Shelves100+

Entertainment Center/Home Office10

Garage/Laundry Cabinets70+

Kitchen Cabinets50

Medicine Cabinet25+

Modular (stock manufacturing-type)50

 

 

Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.

 

CEILINGS & WALLS
YEARS

Acoustical Tile Ceiling40+ (older than 25 years may contain asbestos)

Ceramic Tile70+

Concrete75+

Gypsum75

Wood Paneling20 to 50

Suspended Ceiling25+

 

 

Natural stone countertops, which are less expensive than they were just a few years ago, are becoming more popular, and one can expect them to last a lifetime. Cultured marble countertops have a shorter life expectancy, however.

 

COUNTERTOPSYEARS

Concrete50

Cultured Marble20

Natural Stone100+

Laminate20 to 30

Resin10+

Tile100+

Wood100+

 

 

Decks are exposed to a wide range of conditions in different climates, from wind and hail in some areas, to relatively consistent, dry weather in others. See FASTENERS & STEEL section for fasteners.

 

DECKSYEARS 

Deck Planks15

Composite8 to 25

Structural Wood10 to 30

 

 

Exterior fiberglass, steel, and wood doors will last as long as the house, while vinyl and screen doors have a shorter life expectancy. The gaskets/weatherstripping of exterior doors may have to be replaced every 5 to 8 years.

 

DOORSYEARS

Closet (interior)100+

Fiberglass (exterior)100+

Fire-Rated Steel (exterior)100+

French (interior)30 to 50

Screen (exterior)30

Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior)20 (for roller wheel/track repair/replacement)

Vinyl (exterior)20

Wood (exterior)100+

Wood (hollow-core interior)20 to 30

Wood (solid-core interior)30 to 100+

 

 

Copper-plated wiring, copper-clad aluminum, and bare copper wiring are expected to last a lifetime, whereas electrical accessories and lighting controls, such as dimmer switches, may need to be replaced after 10 years.  GFCIs could last 30 years, but much less if tripped regularly.

 

Remember that faulty, damaged or overloaded electrical circuits or equipment are the leading cause of house fires, so they should be inspected regularly and repaired or updated as needed.

 

ELECTRICALYEARS

Accessories10+

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)30

Bare Copper100+

Bulbs (compact fluorescent)8,000 to 10,000+ hours

Bulbs (halogen)4,000 to 8,000+ hours

Bulbs (incandescent)1,000 to 2,000+ hours

Bulbs (LED)30,000 to 50,000+ hours

Copper-Clad Aluminum100+

Copper-Plated100+

Fixtures40

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)up to 30

Lighting Controls30+

Residential Propane Backup Generators12

Service Panel60

Solar Panels20 to 30

Solar System Batteries3 to 12

Wind Turbine Generators20

 

 

Floor and roof trusses and laminated strand lumber are durable household components, and engineered trim may last 30 years.

 

ENGINEERED LUMBERYEARS

Engineered Joists80+

Laminated Strand Lumber100+

Laminated Veneer Lumber80+

Trusses100+

 

Fastener manufacturers do not give lifespans for their products because they vary too much based on where the fasteners are installed in a home, the materials in which they’re installed, and the local climate and environment.  However, inspectors can use the guidelines below to make educated judgments about the materials they inspect.

 

FASTENERS, CONNECTORS & STEELYEARS

Adjustable Steel Columns50+

Fasteners (bright)25 to 60

Fasteners (copper)65 to 80+

Fasteners (galvanized)10+

Fasteners (electro-galvanized)15 to 45

Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized)35 to 60

Fasteners (stainless)65 to 100+

Steel Beams200+

Steel Columns100+

Steel Plates100+

 

 

Flooring life is dependent on maintenance and the amount of foot traffic the floor endures.

 

FLOORINGYEARS

All Wood Floors100+

Bamboo100+

Brick Pavers100+

Carpet8 to 10

Concrete50+

Engineered Wood50+

Exotic Wood100+

Granite100+

Laminate15 to 25

Linoleum25

Marble100+

Other Domestic Wood100+

Slate100

Terrazzo75+

Tile75 to 100

Vinyl25

 

 

Concrete and poured-block footings and foundations will last a lifetime, assuming they were properly built.  Waterproofing with bituminous coating lasts 10 years, but if it cracks, it is immediately damaged.

 

FOUNDATIONSYEARS

Baseboard Waterproofing System50

Bituminous-Coating Waterproofing10

Concrete Block100+

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)100

Post and Pier20 to 65

Post and Tensioned Slab on Grade100+

Poured-Concrete Footings and Foundation100+

Slab on Grade (concrete)100

Wood Foundation5 to 40

Permanent Wood Foundation (PWF; treated)75

 

 

Framing and structural systems have extended longevities; poured-concrete systems, timber frame houses and structural insulated panels will all last a lifetime.

 

FRAMINGYEARS

Log80 to 200

Poured-Concrete Systems100+

Steel100+

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)100+

Timber Frame100+

 

 

The quality and frequency of use will affect the longevity of garage doors and openers.

 

GARAGESYEARS

Garage Doors20 to 25

Garage Door Openers10 to 15

 

 

Home technology systems have diverse life expectancies and may have to be upgraded due to evolution in technology.

 

HOME TECHNOLOGYYEARS

Built-In Audio20

Carbon Monoxide Detectors*5

Door Bells45

Home Automation System5 to 50

Intercoms20

Security System5 to 20

Smoke/Heat Detectors*less than 10

Wireless Home Networks5+

* Batteries should be changed at least annually.

 

 

Thermostats may last 35 years but they are usually replaced before they fail due to technological improvements.

 

HVACYEARS

Air Conditioner (central)7 to 15

Air Exchanger15

Attic Fan15 to 25

Boiler40

Burner10+

Ceiling Fan5 to 10

Condenser8 to 20

Dampers20+

Dehumidifier8

Diffusers, Grilles and Registers25

Ducting60 to 100

Electric Radiant Heater40

Evaporator Cooler15 to 25

Furnace15 to 25

Gas Fireplace15 to 25

Heat Exchanger10 to 15

Heat Pump10 to 15

Heat-Recovery Ventilator20

Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boiler40

Humidifier12

Induction and Fan-Coil Units10 to 15

Chimney Cap (concrete)100+

Chimney Cap (metal)10 to 20

Chimney Cap (mortar)15

Chimney Flue Tile40 to 120

Thermostats35

Ventilator7

 

 

As long as they are not punctured, cut or burned and are kept dry and away from UV rays, cellulose, fiberglass, and foam insulation materials will last a lifetime. This is true regardless of whether they were installed as loose-fill, house wrap or batts/rolls.

 

INSULATION & INFILTRATION BARRIERSYEARS

Batts/Rolls100+

Black Paper (felt paper)15 to 30

Cellulose100+

Fiberglass100+

Foamboard100+

Housewrap80+

Liquid-Applied Membrane50

Loose-Fill100+

Rock Wool100+

Wrap Tape80+

 

 

Masonry is one of the most enduring household components. Fireplaces, chimneys and brick veneers can last the lifetime of a home.

 

MASONRY & CONCRETE   YEARS

Brick100+

Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block)100+

Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs)100+

Man-Made Stone25

Masonry Sealant2 to 20

Stone100+

Stucco/EIFS50+

Veneer100+

 

 

Custom millwork and stair parts will last a lifetime and are typically only upgraded for aesthetic reasons.

 

MOLDING, MILLWORK & TRIMYEARS

Attic Stairs (pull-down)50

Custom Millwork100+

Pre-Built Stairs100+

Stair Parts100+

Stairs100+

 

 

The lifetime of any wood product depends heavily on moisture intrusion.

 

PANELSYEARS

Flooring Underlayment25

Hardboard40

Particleboard60

Plywood100

Softwood30

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)60

Wall Panels100+

 

 

The quality of plumbing fixtures varies dramatically.  The mineral content of water can shorten the life expectancy of water heaters and clog showerheads.  Also, some finishes may require special maintenance with approved cleaning agents per the manufacturers in order to last their expected service lives.

 

PLUMBING, FIXTURES & FAUCETSYEARS

ABS and PVC Waste Pipe50 to 80

Accessible/ADA Handles100+

Acrylic Kitchen Sink50

Cast-Iron Bathtub100

Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (above ground)60

Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (below ground)50 to 60

Concrete Waste Pipe100+

Copper Water Lines70

Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink5 to 10+

Faucets and Spray Hose15 to 20

Fiberglass Bathtub and Shower20

Gas Lines (black steel)75

Gas Lines (flex)30

Hose Bibs20 to 30

Instant (on-demand) Water Heater10

PEX40

Plastic Water Lines75

Saunas/Steam Room15 to 20

Sewer Grinder Pump10

Shower Enclosure/Module50

Shower Doors20

Showerheads100+ (if not clogged by mineral/other deposits)

Soapstone Kitchen Sink100+

Sump Pump7

Toilet Tank Components5

Toilets, Bidets and Urinals100+

Vent Fan (ceiling)5 to 10

Vessel Sink (stone, glass, porcelain, copper)5 to 20+

Water Heater (conventional)6 to 12

Water Line (copper)50

Water Line (plastic)50

Well Pump15

Water Softener20

Whirlpool Tub20 to 50

 

 

Radon systems have but one moving part:  the radon fan.

 

RADON SYSTEMS
YEARS

Air Exchanger15

Barometric Backdraft Damper/Fresh-Air Intake20

Caulking5 to 10

Labeling25

Manometer15

Piping50+

Radon Fan5 to 8

 

 

The life of a roof depends on local weather conditions, building and design, material quality, and adequate maintenance.  Hot climates drastically reduce asphalt shingle life.  Roofs in areas that experience severe weather, such as hail, tornadoes and/or hurricanes may also experience a shorter-than-normal lifespan overall or may incur isolated damage that requires repair in order to ensure the service life of the surrounding roofing materials.

 

ROOFINGYEARS

Aluminum Coating3 to 7

Asphalt Shingles (3-tab)20

Asphalt (architectural)30

BUR (built-up roofing)30

Clay/Concrete100+

Coal and Tar30

Copper70+

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber15 to 25

Fiber Cement25

Green (vegetation-covered)5 to 40

Metal40 to 80

Modified Bitumen20

Simulated Slate10 to 35

Slate60 to 150

TPO7 to 20

Wood25

 

 

Outside siding materials typically last a lifetime.  Some exterior components may require protection through appropriate paints or sealants, as well as regular maintenance.  Also, while well-maintained and undamaged flashing can last a long time, it is their connections that tend to fail, so seasonal inspection and maintenance are strongly recommended.

 

SIDINGS, FLASHING & ACCESSORIESYEARS

Aluminum Siding25 to 40+

Aluminum Gutters, Downspouts, Soffit and Fascia20 to 40+

Asbestos Shingle100

Brick100+

Cementitious100+

Copper Downspouts100

Copper Gutters50+

Engineered Wood100+

Fiber Cement100+

Galvanized Steel Gutters/Downspouts20

Manufactured Stone100+

Stone100+

Stucco/EIFS50+

Trim25

Vinyl Siding60

Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts25+

Wood/Exterior Shutters20

 

 

Site and landscaping elements have life expectancies that vary dramatically.

 

SITE & LANDSCAPINGYEARS

American Red Clay100+

Asphalt Driveway15 to 20

Brick and Concrete Patio15 to 25

Clay Paving100+

Concrete Walks40 to 50

Controllers15

Gravel Walks4 to 6

Mulch1 to 2

Polyvinyl Fencing100+

Sprinkler Heads10 to 14

Underground PVC Piping60+

Valves20

Wood Chips1 to 5

Wood Fencing20

 

 

Swimming pools are composed of many systems and components, all with varying life expectancies.

 

SWIMMING POOLS
YEARS

Concrete Shell25+

Cover7

Diving Board10

Filter and Pump10

Interior Finish10 to 35

Vinyl Liner10

Pool Water Heater8

Waterline Tile15+

 

 

Aluminum windows are expected to last between 15 and 20 years, while wooden windows should last nearly 30 years.

 

WINDOWSYEARS

Aluminum/Aluminum-Clad15 to 20

Double-Pane8 to 20

Skylights10 to 20

Window Glazing10+

Vinyl/Fiberglass Windows20 to 40

Wood30+

Note: Life expectancy varies with usage, weather, installation, maintenance and quality of materials.  This list should be used only as a general guideline and not as a guarantee or warranty regarding the performance or life expectancy of any appliance, product, system or component.

© 2019 by My Home Inspector Pro. Springfield, Missouri

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