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Your home’s siding, roof trusses, foundation and granite countertops should last you a lifetime, but don’t expect the same longevity from your furnace, shingles or windows.
The U.S.-based National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America Home Equity recently released a study of life expectancy of housing components, based on a 2006 comprehensive telephone survey of manufacturers, trade associations and researchers.
“I try to instill in clients that you need to do proper maintenance to prolong the life of your investment,” says GTA home inspector Brian Daley.
One of the keys to getting maximum life from your home components is preventing water from getting into your house and keeping air from getting out, he says.
One of the first things to do is check the grade around the house – the yard should slope away from the house. Also check to make sure that downspouts and eavestroughs are directing water properly away from the roof and into downspouts, says Daley.
Moisture buildup in attics can affect the roof structure, causing mould and wood rot in the trusses, so make sure those spaces are well-insulated and ventilated.
As far as shingles go, their longevity can depend on the elements, but Daley points out if replacing shingles, never put new shingles over a layer of old shingles. Not only will you shorten their life span by not allowing them to “breathe” properly.
Furnaces should last 15 to 20 years; if your furnace is new, get a yearly maintenance contract after the one-year warranty expires, suggests Daley. Oil furnaces have fewer parts to break down than gas furnaces, so they should last 20 to 25 years.