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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 & PAINTS||YEARS|
|Caulking (interior & exterior)||5 to 10|
|Paint (exterior)||7 to 10|
|Paint (interior)||10 to 15|
|Stains||3 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|
|Disposal (food waste)||12|
|Dryer Vent (plastic)||5|
|Dryer Vent (steel)||20|
|Freezer||10 to 20|
|Gas Oven||10 to 18|
|Hand Dryer||10 to 12|
|Electric Range||13 to 15|
|Gas Range||15 to 17|
|Refrigerator||9 to 13|
|Swamp Cooler||5 to 15|
|Washing Machine||5 to 15|
|Whole-House Vacuum System||20|
Modern kitchens today are larger and more elaborate. Together with the family room, they now form the “great room.”
|CABINETRY & STORAGE||YEARS|
|Entertainment Center/Home Office||10|
|Modular (stock manufacturing-type)||50|
Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.
|CEILINGS & WALLS||YEARS|
|Acoustical Tile Ceiling||40+ (older than 25 years may contain asbestos)|
|Wood Paneling||20 to 50|
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.
|Laminate||20 to 30|
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.
|Composite||8 to 25|
|Structural Wood||10 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.
|Fire-Rated Steel (exterior)||100+|
|French (interior)||30 to 50|
|Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior)||20 (for roller wheel/track repair/replacement)|
|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.
|Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)||30|
|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|
|Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)||up to 30|
|Residential Propane Backup Generators||12|
|Solar Panels||20 to 30|
|Solar System Batteries||3 to 12|
|Wind Turbine Generators||20|
Floor and roof trusses and laminated strand lumber are durable household components, and engineered trim may last 30 years.
|Laminated Strand Lumber||100+|
|Laminated Veneer Lumber||80+|
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 & STEEL||YEARS|
|Adjustable Steel Columns||50+|
|Fasteners (bright)||25 to 60|
|Fasteners (copper)||65 to 80+|
|Fasteners (electro-galvanized)||15 to 45|
|Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized)||35 to 60|
|Fasteners (stainless)||65 to 100+|
Flooring life is dependent on maintenance and the amount of foot traffic the floor endures.
|All Wood Floors||100+|
|Carpet||8 to 10|
|Laminate||15 to 25|
|Other Domestic Wood||100+|
|Tile||75 to 100|
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.
|Baseboard Waterproofing System||50|
|Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)||100|
|Post and Pier||20 to 65|
|Post and Tensioned Slab on Grade||100+|
|Poured-Concrete Footings and Foundation||100+|
|Slab on Grade (concrete)||100|
|Wood Foundation||5 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.
|Log||80 to 200|
|Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)||100+|
The quality and frequency of use will affect the longevity of garage doors and openers.
|Garage Doors||20 to 25|
|Garage Door Openers||10 to 15|
Home technology systems have diverse life expectancies and may have to be upgraded due to evolution in technology.
|Carbon Monoxide Detectors*||5|
|Home Automation System||5 to 50|
|Security System||5 to 20|
|Smoke/Heat Detectors*||less than 10|
|Wireless Home Networks||5+|
* Batteries should be changed at least annually.
Thermostats may last 35 years but they are usually replaced before they fail due to technological improvements.
|Air Conditioner (central)||7 to 15|
|Attic Fan||15 to 25|
|Ceiling Fan||5 to 10|
|Condenser||8 to 20|
|Diffusers, Grilles and Registers||25|
|Ducting||60 to 100|
|Electric Radiant Heater||40|
|Evaporator Cooler||15 to 25|
|Furnace||15 to 25|
|Gas Fireplace||15 to 25|
|Heat Exchanger||10 to 15|
|Heat Pump||10 to 15|
|Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boiler||40|
|Induction and Fan-Coil Units||10 to 15|
|Chimney Cap (concrete)||100+|
|Chimney Cap (metal)||10 to 20|
|Chimney Cap (mortar)||15|
|Chimney Flue Tile||40 to 120|
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 BARRIERS||YEARS|
|Black Paper (felt paper)||15 to 30|
Masonry is one of the most enduring household components. Fireplaces, chimneys and brick veneers can last the lifetime of a home.
|MASONRY & CONCRETE||YEARS|
|Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block)||100+|
|Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs)||100+|
|Masonry Sealant||2 to 20|
Custom millwork and stair parts will last a lifetime and are typically only upgraded for aesthetic reasons.
|MOLDING, MILLWORK & TRIM||YEARS|
|Attic Stairs (pull-down)||50|