The following chart details the predicted life expectancy of appliances, products, materials, systems and components for homes in the state of Florida. (It may also be applicable to states in the nearby coastal region with similar climate and weather conditions on a typical basis.) While many components and systems in homes located in Florida and the surrounding area have service life expectancies that are comparable to those anywhere else in the U.S., those items that are regularly exposed to the elements, including saltwater, wind, sun and heat, are particularly vulnerable to premature failure compared to items installed in homes located elsewhere. These guidelines attempt to address those differences.
(1) The home inspector shall report: (a) on those systems and components inspected that, in the professional opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient or are near the end of their service lives; (b) if not self-evident, a reason why the system or component reported under paragraph (a) is significantly deficient or near the end of service life.
Consumers and inspectors 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 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.
ADHESIVES, CAULK & 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
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 (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
Modern kitchens are larger and more elaborate, and together with the family room, modern kitchens 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 Ceiling40+ (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.
DECKS YEARS Deck Planks 10 Composite 8 to 15 Structural Wood 5 to 20
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/weather-stripping 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 ) 10 Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior)10 (for roller wheel/track repair/replacement) Vinyl (exterior) 10 Wood (exterior) 30+ 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 Generator 12 Service Panel 60 Solar Panels 20 to 30 Solar System Batteries 3 to 12 Wind Turbine Generator 20
Floor and roof trusses and laminated strand lumber are durable household components, and engineered trim may last 30 years.
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.
FASTENERS, CONNECTORS & STEEL YEARS Adjustable Steel Columns 50+ Fasteners (bright) 25 to 40 Fasteners (copper) 50 to 65 Fasteners (electro-galvanized) 10 to 30 Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized) 15 to 60 Fasteners (stainless) 100 Steel Beams 50 to 100+ Steel Columns 100+ Steel Plates 35 to 75
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 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 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 75+ Poured-Concrete Systems 80+ Steel 75+ Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) 75+ Timber Frame 80+
The quality and frequency of use will affect the longevity of garage doors and openers. GARAGES YEARS
Garage Doors 10 to 30 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 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 ? * 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) 5 to 12 Air Exchanger 15 Attic Fan 15 to 25 Boiler (if installed) 40 Burner 10+ Ceiling Fan 5 to 10 Condenser 5 to 7 (for coastal areas, or 15 to 20 inland) Dampers 20+ Dehumidifier 8 Diffusers, Grilles and Registers 25 Ducting 60 to 100 Electric Radiant Heating 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
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 BARRIERS Batts/Rolls 100+ Black Paper (felt paper) 15 to 30 Cellulose 100+ Fiberglass 100+ Foamboard 100+ House wrap 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 the home.
MASONRY & CONCRETE YEARS Brick 75+ Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block) 75+ Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs) 75+ Man-Made Stone 15 Masonry Sealant 2 to 10 Stone 75+ Stucco/EIFS 25+ Veneer 75+
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 (interior) 100+ Stair Parts (interior) 100+ Stairs (interior) 100+
The lifetime of any interior wood product depends heavily on moisture intrusion.
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 & FAUCET 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) 40 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 Bib 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 Shower heads (if not clogged by mineral/other deposits) 100+ Soapstone Kitchen Sink 100+ Sump Pump 7 Toilet Tank Components 5 Toilets, Bidets and Urinals (if not cracked) 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 SYSTEM 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 2 to 6 Asbestos Shakes 30 to 50+ Asphalt Shingles (3-tab) 10 to 12 Asphalt (architectural) 15 to 20 BUR (built-up roofing) 5 to 15 Clay/Concrete 80+ Coal and Tar 18 Copper 50+ EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber 10 to 15 Fiber Cement 18 Green (vegetation-covered) 5 to 20 Metal 17 to 20 Modified Bitumen 10 Simulated Slate 10 to 25 Slate 50+ TPO 10 to 12 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 20 to 35 Aluminum Gutters, Downspouts, Soffit and Fascia 15 to 35+ Asbestos Shingle 20 Brick 80+ Cementitious 80+ Copper Downspouts 80 Copper Gutters 40+ Engineered Wood 80+ Fiber Cement 75+ Galvanized Steel Gutters/Downspouts 15 Manufactured Stone 80+ Stone 80+ Stucco/EIFS 25+ Trim 18 Vinyl Siding 50 Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts 20+ Wood/Exterior Shutters 15
Site and landscaping elements have life expectancies that vary dramatically.
SITE & LANDSCAPING YEARS American Red Clay 75+ Asphalt Driveway 10 to 15 Brick and Concrete Patio 8 to18 Clay Paving 75+ Concrete Walks 30+ Controllers 12 Gravel Walks 4 to 6 Mulch 1 to 2 Polyvinyl Fencing 75+ Sprinkler Heads 8 to 12 Underground PVC Piping 50+ Valves 12 to 15 Wood Chips 1 to 5 Wood Fencing 10
Swimming pools are comprised of many systems and components, all with varying life expectancies, depending on their exposure to climatic and weather conditions. Also, proper maintenance is key, especially concerning the pool water's chemical balance. SWIMMING POOLS YEARS Chlorine Generator (salt water) 5 Cover 3 to 5 Deck Finish (acrylic) 5 Diving Board 8 to 10 Gas Heater 3 to 5 Filter (sand) 5 to 10 (sand must be replaced every 3 years) Filter (cartridge) 2 Filter Grid (DE) 5 Heat Pump 5 to 8 Interior Finish 10 to 20 Motor 5 to 8 Vinyl Liner 8 to 10 Pool Lights (fiber optic) 3 to 5 Pool Lights (incandescent) 3 Pool Lights (LED) 5 to 7 Pool Water Heater 5 PVC Ball Valve up to 2 Shell (concrete) 20+ Shell (fiberglass 20+ Solar Heater 10 to 20 Waterline Tile 10+
WINDOWS YEARS Aluminum/Aluminum-Clad 10 to 15 Double-Pane 5 to 15 Skylights 5 to 15 Jalousie 30 to 40 Window Glazing 8+ Vinyl/Fiberglass Windows 10 to 30 Aluminum windows 15 and 20 years
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 while wooden windows should last nearly 30 years.