How Long Will it Last?
By: New Jersey Home Inspector Michael Del Greco
How Long Will It Last?
Submitted by: Michael Del Greco, New Jersey Home Inspector Lic GI 0121, President of Accurate Inspections, Inc, a New Jersey home inspection company
How nice it would be if we had a crystal ball to tell us how long the systems, appliances, and building materials in our home would last! Unfortunately, this is the \"real world\" and no such item exists. The next best bet is to consult the following list of \"Life Expectancies for Residential Equipment and Materials.\" It will give a good idea of how long these items typically last.
The ranges below may vary a little based on a number of factors, including:
1. Quality of the equipment and/or materials.
2. Proper application and/or use of the equipment and materials.
3. The proper capacities of the equipment and/or materials.
4. Varying amounts and type of usage.
5. Exposure to different weather and geographical conditions.
6. Quality of fuels, water, and air to which the equipment is exposed.
7. Future high-tech equipment, materials, and applications (that may increase or decrease life expectancies).
8. Quality of workmanship used in the installation.
HEATING SYSTEMS YEARS
Cast iron 30 to 60
Steel 20 to 35
Heating Exchangers (steel)
Gas-fired 25 to 40
Oil-fired 20 to 35
Heat Pump Compressor 7 to 12
Steel 80 to 120
Copper 60 to ?
Oil 20 to 30
Gas 30 to 40
Misc. Heating Components
Circulators 20 to 30
Fans 12 to 40
Oil Tanks (inside) 25 to 50
Expansion Tanks 35 to 50
Zone Valves 7 to 10
Note: Heaters need complete replacement when the boiler (water) or heat exchanger (air) fails.
Compressors 10 to 14
Coils 20 to 30
Fans 12 to 40
Water Service (Public)
Lead 50 to 90
Steel 40 to 75
Copper 70 to ?
Interior Water Pipe
Steel 1/2\" 40 to 60
Copper 1/2\" 70 to 100
Galvanized Steel 40 to 60
Copper 60 to 100
Cast Iron 50 to 90
Plastic (P.V.C.) 35 to ?
Lead 50 to 90
(On-site Water Supply)
Pump-Submersible 15 to 22
Pump-Above Ground 13 to 20
Pressure Tank-Steel 15 to 25
Pressure Tank - Fiberglass 25 to 50
(On-Site Drainage System)
Steel Tank 15 to 30
Concrete Tank 25 to 40
Life expectancy of leaching fields is determined by porosity of soil and maintenance (10 to 60 years)
MISCELLANEOUS PLUMBING ITEMS
Gas 8 to 14
Electric 12 to 18
Oil Burner 20 to 40
Faucets, etc. 20 to 60
Toilets & sinks 40 to 60
Service cables 20 to 40
Knob & tube 60 to 90
Armored Cable-BX 50 to 80
Plastic - Romex) 70 to 80
Fuses or Circuit Breakers 20 to 50
Life expectancy is directly related to moisture in the area of the box (rust & oxidation of contacts).
Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles 18 to 25
Roofs wear out sooner on the south side of the house.
Built-Up Roofing, 3 ply 10 to 15
Installation procedures and regular recoating can extend the life of these roofs 2, 3 or more times.
Slate (depends on the quarry from which it came, maintenance is required. 35 to 200
Metal Standing or Welded Seams 50 to 90
Metal roofs are mostly tin and will remain functional as long as you keep them from rusting .
Cedar (depends on quality of wood, workmanship, and maintenance) 20 to 40
Sidings and Veneers
Aluminum (you may repaint aluminum siding at about 20-23 years to extend life) 18-25
Vinyl 25 to ?
Aluminum with Tedlar coating 35 to 50
Hardboard or composition (depends on finish, exposure to sun and maintenance) 20 to 40
T1-11 Plywood Siding (must coat regularly or will not last more than 8 years) 20 to 40
Stucco (70 years without paint, 200+ years with regular painting) 70 to 200+
Asbestos (needs normal maintenance, recommended painting) 40 to 100
Brick. Veneers with periodic pointing. 100+
Note: Masonry walls are very durable and as long as they are designed properly and receive periodic maintenance, they should last 100+ years. Exceptions would be salmon brick, cinder block (instead of concrete block) and Serpentine stone.
Wood. Usually very dependable and have long life expectancies with regular painting and storm windows to help protect them. 35 to 100
Aluminum. Usually are marginal in design and functionality. An advantage is their low cost. 10 to 25
Vinyl. Reasonable window, moderate cost, not enough history to project life expectancy. 15 to ?
Aluminum storm windows 30 to 40
Ceramic Tile (in tub or shower wall areas)
Wed Bed (cement) or Wonder Board Backing 40 to 90
Mastic System (adhesive) 14 to 20
Walls 70 to 120
Ceilings 60 to 90
Life expectancy of plaster is altered by the carpentry framing and the type of plaster lath used.
Drywall (also called sheetrock)
Walls 50 to ?
Ceilings 30 to ?
Refrigerators 10 to 20
Dishwashers 13 to 18
Gas Ranges 20 to 35
Electric Ranges 15 to 25
Garbage Disposal 10 to 15
Humidifiers 5 to 20
Dehumidifiers 8 to 12
Washers 10 to 20
Dryers 10 to 20
Information provided by Michael Del Greco, New Jersey Home Inspector Lic. GI 0121, American Society of Home Inspectors Member 102273, Pesident of Accurate Inspections, Inc. A West Paterson New Jersey Home Inspection firm.