LIFE EXPECTANCY

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.

Air Conditioner (window)5 to 7
Caulking (interior & exterior)5 to 10
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 & STORAGEYEARS
Bathroom Cabinets50+
Closet Shelves100+
Entertainment Center/Home Office70
Garage/Laundry Cabinets70+
Kitchen Cabinets50
Medicine Cabinet25+
Modular (stock manufacturing-type)50

Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.

CEILINGS & WALLSYEARS
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
Permanent Wood Foundation (PWF; treated)75
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

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
Doorbells45
Home Automation System5 to 50
Intercoms20
Security System5 to 20
Smoke/Heat Detectors*less than 10
Wireless Home Networks5+

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

HVACYEARS
Air Exchanger15
Attic Fan15 to 25
Air Conditioner (central)7 to 15
Boiler40
Burner10+
Ceiling Fan5 to 10
Chimney Cap (concrete)100+
Chimney Cap (metal)10 to 20
Chimney Cap (mortar)15
Chimney Flue Tile40 to 120
Condenser8 to 20
Dampers20+
Dehumidifier8
Diffusers, Grilles and Registers25
Ducting60 to 100
Electric Radiant Heater40
Evaporative 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
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, housewrap or batts/rolls.

INSULATION & INFILTRATION BARRIERSYEARS
Batts/Rolls100+
Black Paper (felt paper)15 to 30
Cellulose100+
Fiberglass100+
Foamboard100+
Housewrap80+
Liquid-Applied Membrane50
Loose-Fill100+
Rockwool100+
Wrap Tape80+

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

MASONRY & CONCRETEYEARS
Brick100+
Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block)100+
Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs)100+
Man-Made Stone25
Masonry Sealant2 to 20
Stone100+
Stucco/EIFS50+
Veneer100+
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