eli5 why abandoned houses get in rough shape, But lived in houses are fine after being unchanged for years?


I have seen so many videos on YouTube of homes that have been abandoned for 5-10 years and they are just falling apart, But then my house hasn’t been renovated or anything in 8 years or so, and it’s in good condition. Wouldn’t the same thing happen to my house since it’s unchanged?

In: 68

Because all the damage you see started from small issues that, in a lived in house, someone notices and (hopefully) fixes before it gets too bad. That is the reason why ignoring a small problem can lead to huge issues in a house.

Air, water, and animals.

A house stays in good shape so long as those 3 things stay *outside*. Bust a window or leave a door open and wind blows in debris, water flows in, and raccoons throw a party. Water especially just wrecks shit.

Additionally, abandoned houses often have had deficient maintenance far before being abandoned. My father let his leaky roof get worse for over 10 years before the house got declared unfit for habitation, then it got condemned for over 5 years.

My understanding is that the temperature is a factor as well. Humans have a very narrow range of temperature that we enjoy. As such, we tend to keep our houses within that narrow band.

When a house is abandoned, the temperature variation will often increase dramatically, depending on the environment, which mucks up a lot of stuff in the house.

Also: water and animals… I just added temperature because I did not see it in other answers.

Lived in houses are constantly being maintained. Insect traps, fixing leaks, keeping out animals, cleaning gutters, mainta8ning environmental controls…etc

The thing is that problems start small, but can compound fast. If you find a bit of rotting wood, it starts very small, and you can fix it, but a rot left untreated, rapidly grows, as it is a multiplying organism s0readin out, that is doing the rotting.

If an animal chews a hole and gets in, you quickly remove it, but if you don’t, it moves its whole family in, and now they all chew up stuff.

Homes without environmental controls are great for mild to flourish in. Homes with gutters not being cleaned damage the roof and water overflows, damaging the outer walls and foundations more quickly.

Once you become a home owner, you quickly learn how shit is co Stanly breaking and needing fixing.