Be Advised

Consumers and inspectors and other professionals advising their clients should note that 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.

Adhesives, Caulk and Paints Years
Caulking (interior) 5 to 8
Caulking (exterior) 1 to 3
Construction Glue 10+
Paint (exterior) 5
Paint (interior) 8 to 12
Roofing Adhesives/Cements 8+
Sealants 5
Stains 2 to 6

Surface preparation and paint quality are the most important determinants of a paint's life expectancy. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can shorten life expectancy, especially in coastal regions that experience a lot of sunshine and heat, as well as wind-driven rain. Additionally, conditions of high humidity indoors or outdoors can affect the lifespan of these components, which is why they should be maintained seasonally.

Appliances Years
Air Conditioner (portable/window) 5 to 7
Compactors (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

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.

Cabinetry and 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

Modern kitchens are larger and more elaborate, and together with the family room, modern kitchens now form the “great room.”

Ceilings and Walls Years
Acoustical Tile Ceiling 40+
Ceramic Tile 70+
Concrete 75+
Gypsum 75
Wood Paneling 20 to 50
Suspended Ceiling 25+

Walls and ceilings last the full lifespan of the home.

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

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.

Decks Years
Deck Planks 10
Composite 8 to 15
Structural Wood 5 to 20

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 and STEEL section for fasteners.

Doors Years
Closet (interior) 100+
Fiberglass (exterior) 100+
Fire-Rated Steel (exterior) 100+
French (interior) 30 to 50
Screen (exterior) 10
Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior) 10
Vinyl (exterior) 10
Wood (exterior) 30+
Wood (hollow-core interior) 20 to 30
Wood (solid-core interior) 30 to 100+

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.

Electrical Years
Accessories 10+
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) 30
Bare Copper 100+
Bulbs (compact fluorescent) 8K to 10K+ hours
Bulbs (halogen) 4K to 8K+ hours
Bulbs (incandescent) 1K to 2K+ hours
Bulbs (LED) 30K to 50K+ hours
Copper-Clad Aluminum 100+
Copper-Plated 100+
Fixtures 40
Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) Up to 30
Lighting Controls 30+
Residential Propane Backup Generator 12
Service Panel 60
Solar Panels 20 to 30
Solar System Batteries 3 to 12
Wind Turbine Generator 20

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.

Engineered Lumber Years
Engineered Joists 80+
Laminated Strand Lumber 100+
Laminated Veneer Lumber 80+
Trusses 100+

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

Fasteners, Connectors and Steel Years
Adjustable Steel Columns 50+
Fasteners (bright) 25 to 40
Fasteners (copper) 50 to 65
Fasteners (electro-galvanized) 10 to 30
Fasteners (copper) 50 to 65
Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized) 15 to 60
Fasteners (stainless) 100
Steel Beams 50 to 100+
Steel Columns 100+
Steel Plates 35 to 75

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 for humid and coastal environments to make educated judgments about the materials they inspect.

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

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

Foundations Years
Baseboard Waterproofing System 30
Bituminous-Coating Waterproofing 6
Concrete Block 75+
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) 80
Post and Pier 15 to 45
Post and Tensioned Slab on Grade 80+
Poured-Concrete Footings and Foundation 80+
Slab on Grade (concrete) 75
Wood Foundation 5 to 20
Permanent Wood Foundation (PWF; treated) 50 to 70

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.

Framing Years
Log 75+
Poured-Concrete Systems 80+
Steel 75+
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) 75+
Timber Frame 80+

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

Garages Years
Garage Doors 10 to 30
Garage Door Openers 10 to 15

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

Home Technology Years
Built-In Audio 20
Carbon Monoxide Detectors* 5
Door Bells 35
Home Automation System 5 to 50
Intercoms 20
Security System 5 to 20
Smoke/Heat Detectors* Less than 10
Wireless Home Networks 5 to ?

Home technology systems have diverse life expectancies and may have to be upgraded due to evolution in technology. *Batteries should be changed at least annually.

HVAC Years
Air Conditioner (central) 12 to 18
Air Exchanger 15
Attic Fan 15 to 25
Boiler 40 (if installed)
Burner 10+
Ceiling Fan 5 to 10
Condenser Coastal areas 5 to 7, Inland: 15 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 (if installed)
Gas Fireplace 15 to 25
Handler Coil 1 to 3
Heat Exchanger 10 to 15
Heat Pump 10 to 15
Heat-Recovery Ventilator 20
Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boilers 40
Humidifiers 12
Induction and Fan-Coil Units 10 to 15
Chimney Cap (concrete) 50+
Chimney Cap (metal) 8 to 10
Chimney Cap (mortar) 10+
Chimney Flue Tile 20+
Thermostats 35
Ventilator 7

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

Insulation and 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+

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.