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Life Expectancy of House Appliances, Systems & Components

The following chart details the predicted life expectancy of appliances, products, materials, systems and components.

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.

 

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

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 counter tops, 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 counter tops have a shorter life expectancy.

COUNTER TOPS  / 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 longevity; 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 expectancy 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 to ?
* 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 shower heads.  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

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
Cellulose Fiber 20
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 30

 

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
Asphalt Driveway 15 to 20
Brick and Concrete Patio 15 to 25
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 comprised of many systems and components, all with varying life expectancy.

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 Windows  20 to 40
Wood 30+