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 & PAINTSYEARSCaulking (interior & exterior)5 to 10Construction Glue20+Paint (exterior)7 to 10Paint (interior)10 to 15Roofing Adhesives/Cements15+Sealants8Stains3 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 YEARSAir Conditioner (window)5 to 7Compactor (trash)6Dehumidifier8Dishwasher9Disposal (food waste)12Dryer Vent (plastic)5Dryer Vent (steel)20Dryer (clothes)13Exhaust Fans10Freezer10 to 20Gas Oven10 to 18Hand Dryer10 to 12Humidifier (portable)8Microwave Oven9Range/Oven Hood14Electric Range13 to 15Gas Range15 to 17Refrigerator9 to 13Swamp Cooler5 to 15Washing Machine5 to 15Whole-House Vacuum System20
Modern kitchens today are larger and more elaborate. Together with the family room, they now form the “great room.”
CABINETRY & STORAGE YEARSBathroom Cabinets50+Closet Shelves100+Entertainment Center/Home Office10Garage/Laundry Cabinets70+Kitchen Cabinets50Medicine Cabinet25+Modular (stock manufacturing-type)50
Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.
CEILINGS & WALLS
YEARSAcoustical Tile Ceiling40+ (older than 25 years may contain asbestos)Ceramic Tile70+Concrete75+Gypsum75Wood Paneling20 to 50Suspended 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.
COUNTERTOPSYEARSConcrete50Cultured Marble20Natural Stone100+Laminate20 to 30Resin10+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 Planks15Composite8 to 25Structural 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.
DOORSYEARSCloset (interior)100+Fiberglass (exterior)100+Fire-Rated Steel (exterior)100+French (interior)30 to 50Screen (exterior)30Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior)20 (for roller wheel/track repair/replacement)Vinyl (exterior)20Wood (exterior)100+Wood (hollow-core interior)20 to 30Wood (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.
ELECTRICALYEARSAccessories10+Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)30Bare Copper100+Bulbs (compact fluorescent)8,000 to 10,000+ hoursBulbs (halogen)4,000 to 8,000+ hoursBulbs (incandescent)1,000 to 2,000+ hoursBulbs (LED)30,000 to 50,000+ hoursCopper-Clad Aluminum100+Copper-Plated100+Fixtures40Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)up to 30Lighting Controls30+Residential Propane Backup Generators12Service Panel60Solar Panels20 to 30Solar System Batteries3 to 12Wind Turbine Generators20
Floor and roof trusses and laminated strand lumber are durable household components, and engineered trim may last 30 years.
ENGINEERED LUMBERYEARSEngineered 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 & STEELYEARSAdjustable Steel Columns50+Fasteners (bright)25 to 60Fasteners (copper)65 to 80+Fasteners (galvanized)10+Fasteners (electro-galvanized)15 to 45Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized)35 to 60Fasteners (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.
FLOORINGYEARSAll Wood Floors100+Bamboo100+Brick Pavers100+Carpet8 to 10Concrete50+Engineered Wood50+Exotic Wood100+Granite100+Laminate15 to 25Linoleum25Marble100+Other Domestic Wood100+Slate100Terrazzo75+Tile75 to 100Vinyl25
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.
FOUNDATIONSYEARSBaseboard Waterproofing System50Bituminous-Coating Waterproofing10Concrete Block100+Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)100Post and Pier20 to 65Post and Tensioned Slab on Grade100+Poured-Concrete Footings and Foundation100+Slab on Grade (concrete)100Wood Foundation5 to 40Permanent 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.
FRAMINGYEARSLog80 to 200Poured-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.
GARAGESYEARSGarage Doors20 to 25Garage Door Openers10 to 15
Home technology systems have diverse life expectancies and may have to be upgraded due to evolution in technology.
HOME TECHNOLOGYYEARSBuilt-In Audio20Carbon Monoxide Detectors*5Door Bells45Home Automation System5 to 50Intercoms20Security System5 to 20Smoke/Heat Detectors*less than 10Wireless 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.
HVACYEARSAir Conditioner (central)7 to 15Air Exchanger15Attic Fan15 to 25Boiler40Burner10+Ceiling Fan5 to 10Condenser8 to 20Dampers20+Dehumidifier8Diffusers, Grilles and Registers25Ducting60 to 100Electric Radiant Heater40Evaporator Cooler15 to 25Furnace15 to 25Gas Fireplace15 to 25Heat Exchanger10 to 15Heat Pump10 to 15Heat-Recovery Ventilator20Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boiler40Humidifier12Induction and Fan-Coil Units10 to 15Chimney Cap (concrete)100+Chimney Cap (metal)10 to 20Chimney Cap (mortar)15Chimney Flue Tile40 to 120Thermostats35Ventilator7
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 BARRIERSYEARSBatts/Rolls100+Black Paper (felt paper)15 to 30Cellulose100+Fiberglass100+Foamboard100+Housewrap80+Liquid-Applied Membrane50Loose-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 YEARSBrick100+Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block)100+Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs)100+Man-Made Stone25Masonry Sealant2 to 20Stone100+Stucco/EIFS50+Veneer100+
Custom millwork and stair parts will last a lifetime and are typically only upgraded for aesthetic reasons.
MOLDING, MILLWORK & TRIMYEARSAttic Stairs (pull-down)50Custom Millwork100+Pre-Built Stairs100+Stair Parts100+Stairs100+
The lifetime of any wood product depends heavily on moisture intrusion.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)60
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 & FAUCETSYEARSABS and PVC Waste Pipe50 to 80Accessible/ADA Handles100+Acrylic Kitchen Sink50Cast-Iron Bathtub100Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (above ground)60Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (below ground)50 to 60Concrete Waste Pipe100+Copper Water Lines70Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink5 to 10+Faucets and Spray Hose15 to 20Fiberglass Bathtub and Shower20Gas Lines (black steel)75Gas Lines (flex)30Hose Bibs20 to 30Instant (on-demand) Water Heater10PEX40Plastic Water Lines75Saunas/Steam Room15 to 20Sewer Grinder Pump10Shower Enclosure/Module50Shower Doors20Showerheads100+ (if not clogged by mineral/other deposits)Soapstone Kitchen Sink100+Sump Pump7Toilet Tank Components5Toilets, Bidets and Urinals100+Vent Fan (ceiling)5 to 10Vessel Sink (stone, glass, porcelain, copper)5 to 20+Water Heater (conventional)6 to 12Water Line (copper)50Water Line (plastic)50Well Pump15Water Softener20Whirlpool Tub20 to 50
Radon systems have but one moving part: the radon fan.
YEARSAir Exchanger15Barometric Backdraft Damper/Fresh-Air Intake20Caulking5 to 10Labeling25Manometer15Piping50+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.
ROOFINGYEARSAluminum Coating3 to 7Asphalt Shingles (3-tab)20Asphalt (architectural)30BUR (built-up roofing)30Clay/Concrete100+Coal and Tar30Copper70+EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber15 to 25Fiber Cement25Green (vegetation-covered)5 to 40Metal40 to 80Modified Bitumen20Simulated Slate10 to 35Slate60 to 150TPO7 to 20Wood25
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 & ACCESSORIESYEARSAluminum Siding25 to 40+Aluminum Gutters, Downspouts, Soffit and Fascia20 to 40+Asbestos Shingle100Brick100+Cementitious100+Copper Downspouts100Copper Gutters50+Engineered Wood100+Fiber Cement100+Galvanized Steel Gutters/Downspouts20Manufactured Stone100+Stone100+Stucco/EIFS50+Trim25Vinyl Siding60Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts25+Wood/Exterior Shutters20
Site and landscaping elements have life expectancies that vary dramatically.
SITE & LANDSCAPINGYEARSAmerican Red Clay100+Asphalt Driveway15 to 20Brick and Concrete Patio15 to 25Clay Paving100+Concrete Walks40 to 50Controllers15Gravel Walks4 to 6Mulch1 to 2Polyvinyl Fencing100+Sprinkler Heads10 to 14Underground PVC Piping60+Valves20Wood Chips1 to 5Wood Fencing20
Swimming pools are composed of many systems and components, all with varying life expectancies.
YEARSConcrete Shell25+Cover7Diving Board10Filter and Pump10Interior Finish10 to 35Vinyl Liner10Pool Water Heater8Waterline Tile15+
Aluminum windows are expected to last between 15 and 20 years, while wooden windows should last nearly 30 years.
WINDOWSYEARSAluminum/Aluminum-Clad15 to 20Double-Pane8 to 20Skylights10 to 20Window Glazing10+Vinyl/Fiberglass Windows20 to 40Wood30+
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.