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The age of various house members/units is crucial in the understanding of their remaining useful life. Listed below are some typical age/life expectancies. These are general statements, for there are many factors which determine the life of a house member/unit that are impossible to detect on a visual inspection. Some members/units may perform well beyond their expected life, while others may need replacement sooner.

 House Members/Units  Est. Useful Life   


asphalt composite roof

 15 - 30
 slate/tile roof  50+
 septic system (leaching fields)  18 - 20
 boiler/furnace  20 - 30
 heat exchanger w/humidifier  10
 combustion chambers  10
 burner  10
 appliances  5 - 8
 hot water tank  5 - 12
 tankless hot water (serviced properly)  10+
 buried water pipes in concrete  15 - 18
 window maintenance/repairs  maintain annually
 flashing maintenance/repairs  maintain annually
 metal chimneys  10
 metal flue lines  10
 unlined brick flues  20+
 automatic flue dampers  inspect annually
 swimming pool liners  10
 tile walls (average quality)  1 - 5
 exposed wood deck or porch  5 - 7
 old wiring  unknown
 thermal seals in windows  5+
 caulking/putty (average quality)  1 - 5
 painted siding/trim  5
 stained siding/trim  7+
 downspout drywalls  10
 termite treatment  5 - 7
 carpenter ant treatment  annually
 air conditioning compressor  8 - 12
 old water pipes  unknown
 old drains, traps, vents, waste pipes  unknown
 buried oil tanks  15
 oil tanks  30
 plumbing fixtures/faucets  unknown
 fiberboard siding  5 - 7 years (properly treated)
 rolling roofing seams  maintain annually
 chimney maintenance  inspect annually
 pump motors  5+
 roof drainage maintenance  service semiannually
 heat pump  8 - 10


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Tips From R.J.D.

Some form of basement dampness exists in most homes in our New England area. It can range from slight efflorescence to high water rust lines on lally columns. Often, however, in houses which are being offered for sale, the visible signs on the interior of a basement which would indicate a past or present water and or moisture problem are concealed. For example, an area may be painted over, or basement storage may be piled against a wall where a problem has occurred or if it has been dry for a period before the Inspection, signs of past water penetration may not be visible. Our experience shows that substantial dampness can be eliminated with proper diversion of roof and ground water. A damaged gutter or leader discharging into a low area at the foundation will be a major source of dampness in the basement. We note dampness in our reports, and attempt to determine its source and recommend a solutions.
R.J.D. Home & Property Inspections LLC. 26 Julia Lane Thomaston, CT 06787
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