How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of house wall structural framing systems?
Thursday, December 26, 2019
How long do house walls last?
All of the standard exterior wall structural materials can be expected to last for the life of the house, 100+ years. The life of wood wall framing, however, can be shortened by wood rot due to moisture instrusion in the wall, or termites and wood boring beetles. Go to our blog posts How do termites infest a house and remain hidden while doing major damage? and Where are the most common places to find wood rot on a house? for more on this.
Also, reinforcing steel in the concrete tie beam and columns of a concrete block house or the entire wall of a concrete house can cause deep cracks in the wall, and eventually even chunks of the wall to fall out, if moisture is allowed to reach the steel and cause it to corrode. To learn more, see What is concrete spalling?. Maintaining a weatherproof surface of the wall and caulking any minor cracks as they arise will stop this potential problem.
Click on any one of the wall structural types below for more info on that material:
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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