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  • All American Inspections

Life Expectancy of Home Components

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 Construction Glue 20+ Paint (exterior) 7 to 10 Paint (interior) 10 to 15 Roofing Adhesives/Cements 15+ Sealants 8 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.

APPLIANCES YEARS Air Conditioner (window) 5 to 7 Compactor (trash) 6 Dehumidifier 8 Dishwasher 9 Disposal (food waste) 12 Dryer Vent (plastic) 5 Dryer Vent (steel) 20 Dryer (clothes) 13 Exhaust Fans 10 Freezer 10 to 20 Gas Oven 10 to 18 Hand Dryer 10 to 12 Humidifier (portable) 8 Microwave Oven 9 Range/Oven Hood 14 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 Bathroom Cabinets 50+ Closet Shelves 100+ Entertainment Center/Home Office 10 Garage/Laundry Cabinets 70+ Kitchen Cabinets 50 Medicine Cabinet 25+ 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) Ceramic Tile 70+ Concrete 75+ Gypsum 75 Wood Paneling 20 to 50 Suspended Ceiling 25+

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.

COUNTERTOPS YEARS Concrete 50 Cultured Marble 20 Natural Stone 100+ Laminate 20 to 30 Resin 10+ Tile 100+ Wood 100+

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.

DECKS YEARS Deck Planks 15 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.

DOORS YEARS 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.

ELECTRICAL YEARS Accessories 10+ Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) 30 Bare Copper 100+ 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 Aluminum 100+ Copper-Plated 100+ Fixtures 40 Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) up to 30 Lighting Controls 30+ Residential Propane Backup Generators 12 Service Panel 60 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.

ENGINEERED LUMBER YEARS Engineered Joists 80+ Laminated Strand Lumber 100+ Laminated Veneer Lumber 80+ Trusses 100+

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 (galvanized) 10+ Fasteners (electro-galvanized) 15 to 45 Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized) 35 to 60 Fasteners (stainless) 65 to 100+ Steel Beams 200+ Steel Columns 100+ Steel Plates 100+

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

FLOORING YEARS All Wood Floors 100+ Bamboo 100+ Brick Pavers 100+ Carpet 8 to 10 Concrete 50+ Engineered Wood 50+ Exotic Wood 100+ Granite 100+ Laminate 15 to 25 Linoleum 25 Marble 100+ Other Domestic Wood 100+ Slate 100 Terrazzo 75+ Tile 75 to 100 Vinyl 25

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.

FOUNDATIONS YEARS Baseboard Waterproofing System 50 Bituminous-Coating Waterproofing 10 Concrete Block 100+ 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.

FRAMING YEARS Log 80 to 200 Poured-Concrete Systems 100+ Steel 100+ Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) 100+ Timber Frame 100+

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

GARAGES YEARS 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.

HOME TECHNOLOGY YEARS Built-In Audio 20 Carbon Monoxide Detectors* 5 Door Bells 45 Home Automation System 5 to 50 Intercoms 20 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.

HVAC YEARS Air Conditioner (central) 7 to 15 Air Exchanger 15 Attic Fan 15 to 25 Boiler 40 Burner 10+ Ceiling Fan 5 to 10 Condenser 8 to 20 Dampers 20+ Dehumidifier 8 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 Heat-Recovery Ventilator 20 Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boiler 40 Humidifier 12 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 Thermostats 35 Ventilator 7

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 BARRIERS YEARS Batts/Rolls 100+ Black Paper (felt paper) 15 to 30 Cellulose 100+ Fiberglass 100+ Foamboard 100+ Housewrap 80+ Liquid-Applied Membrane 50 Loose-Fill 100+ Rock Wool 100+ Wrap Tape 80+

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

MASONRY & CONCRETE YEARS Brick 100+ Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block) 100+ Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs) 100+ Man-Made Stone 25 Masonry Sealant 2 to 20 Stone 100+ Stucco/EIFS 50+ Veneer 100+

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 Custom Millwork 100+ Pre-Built Stairs 100+ Stair Parts 100+ Stairs 100+

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

PANELS YEARS Flooring Underlayment 25 Hardboard 40 Particleboard 60 Plywood 100 Softwood 30 Oriented Strand Board (OSB) 60 Wall Panels 100+

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 & FAUCETS YEARS ABS and PVC Waste Pipe 50 to 80 Accessible/ADA Handles 100+ Acrylic Kitchen Sink 50 Cast-Iron Bathtub 100 Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (above ground) 60 Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (below ground) 50 to 60 Concrete Waste Pipe 100+ Copper Water Lines 70 Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink 5 to 10+ Faucets and Spray Hose 15 to 20 Fiberglass Bathtub and Shower 20 Gas Lines (black steel) 75 Gas Lines (flex) 30 Hose Bibs 20 to 30 Instant (on-demand) Water Heater 10 PEX 40 Plastic Water Lines 75 Saunas/Steam Room 15 to 20 Sewer Grinder Pump 10 Shower Enclosure/Module 50 Shower Doors 20 Showerheads 100+ (if not clogged by mineral/other deposits) Soapstone Kitchen Sink 100+ Sump Pump 7 Toilet Tank Components 5 Toilets, Bidets and Urinals 100+ 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 Pump 15 Water Softener 20 Whirlpool Tub 20 to 50

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

RADON SYSTEMS YEARS Air Exchanger 15 Barometric Backdraft Damper/Fresh-Air Intake 20 Caulking 5 to 10 Labeling 25 Manometer 15 Piping 50+ Radon Fan 5 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.

ROOFING YEARS Aluminum Coating 3 to 7 Asphalt Shingles (3-tab) 20 Asphalt (architectural) 30 BUR (built-up roofing) 30 Clay/Concrete 100+ Coal and Tar 30 Copper 70+ EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber 15 to 25 Fiber Cement 25 Green (vegetation-covered) 5 to 40 Metal 40 to 80 Modified Bitumen 20 Simulated Slate 10 to 35 Slate 60 to 150 TPO 7 to 20 Wood 25

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 & ACCESSORIES YEARS Aluminum Siding 25 to 40+ Aluminum Gutters, Downspouts, Soffit and Fascia 20 to 40+ Asbestos Shingle 100 Brick 100+ Cementitious 100+ Copper Downspouts 100 Copper Gutters 50+ Engineered Wood 100+ Fiber Cement 100+ Galvanized Steel Gutters/Downspouts 20 Manufactured Stone 100+ Stone 100+ Stucco/EIFS 50+ Trim 25 Vinyl Siding 60 Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts 25+ Wood/Exterior Shutters 20

Site and landscaping elements have life expectancies that vary dramatically.

SITE & LANDSCAPING YEARS American Red Clay 100+ Asphalt Driveway 15 to 20 Brick and Concrete Patio 15 to 25 Clay Paving 100+ Concrete Walks 40 to 50 Controllers 15 Gravel Walks 4 to 6 Mulch 1 to 2 Polyvinyl Fencing 100+ Sprinkler Heads 10 to 14 Underground PVC Piping 60+ Valves 20 Wood Chips 1 to 5 Wood Fencing 20

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

SWIMMING POOLS YEARS Concrete Shell 25+ Cover 7 Diving Board 10 Filter and Pump 10 Interior Finish 10 to 35 Vinyl Liner 10 Pool Water Heater 8 Waterline Tile 15+

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

WINDOWS YEARS Aluminum/Aluminum-Clad 15 to 20 Double-Pane 8 to 20 Skylights 10 to 20 Window Glazing 10+ Vinyl/Fiberglass Windows 20 to 40 Wood 30+

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

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