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What Happens When Nature Takes Over Abandoned Homes

In just five years an abandoned home can start to disappear.

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Stephen Orsillo/Shutterstock

Eastern Seaboard

An abandoned beach house on the Gloucester shore in Massachusetts could be the perfect piece of property for a rehab project. Just make sure you’re cleaning windows like the pros if you’ve got a view of the water.

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A Regal Residence

If this residence got the attention it deserves, it’d be quite the estate. Just like one of these houses in the U.S. that rank as the largest in their state.

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Vladimir Mulder/Shutterstock


An old mansion in Abkhazia, which is a region next to Russia and Georgia along the Black Sea, with overgrown plants could be a prime rehab project. The high ceiling and loads of windows likely made for a striking image in a past life. Stop invasive plants from taking over your garden with these tips.

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Abandoned-home-with-moss-growing-on-roofCory Seamer/Shutterstock

Moss on Roof

Back in 2008 the History Channel put together a series called Life After People, which explored what the world would look like if nature were free to reclaim it. Conventional wisdom says that an abandoned area will start to look like a forest in about five years.

The moss on the roof of this house signals just the beginning of the eventual destruction of the house. Moss will absorb moisture and degrade material like shingles.

If you start to notice some streaks on your roof, it’s time to find out if you should replace your roof. 

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Ruined-abandoned-mansion-overgrown-with-weedsVladimir Mulder/Shutterstock

Plants Creep In

If a building is left alone for as little as five years, weeds take over, plants will grow from cracks, windows blow out and allow wind and rain to get in. You can see that the roof has deteriorated to the point where anything can get inside.

You shouldn’t have to worry about a roof collapsing but here are some signs other parts of your house are failing. And here’s how to keep weeds out of your yard.

Invasive species like kudzu and buckthorn would grow exponentially in areas left untouched by humans. Buckthorn is one of these 12 plants you don’t want in your garden.

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Mold is terrible inside a home and kind of tricky to remove. As nature starts to run its course and moisture enters the home, mold will soon follow. Here’s how to remove mold and five myths you need to stop believing about mold, like what black mold really means.

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Rusted-bolt-covered-in-mossAstrid Demeillier/Shutterstock

Rusted Metal

As rain is allowed unabated it will start to galvanize metal and rust it out.

Here are some easy ways to get rid of rust and one really fun way to remove rust.

Even worse, when weather gets below freezing, expansion and contraction of ice can split walls like a jackhammer.

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Abandoned-school-in-Pripyat-ChernobylGraham Harries/Shutterstock

Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat is a ghost town that was the nearest to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant before the power plant got destroyed. This school remains relatively intact despite being evacuated more than 30 years ago. 

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Abandoned-hospital-in-Chernobyl-33-years-after-Nuclear-explosionSERGEY DOLZHENKO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Abandoned Hospital Near Chernobyl

These days several companies provide tours of Pripyat as radiation levels have dropped in most places. This room once served as part of a hospital for the town of 49,400. 

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Abandoned-Home-filled-with-sandMint Images/Shutterstock


Sand is really mobile and will invade homes if given the opportunity. We all know how tough it can be to get sand out of things and if there’s an abandoned house in the desert, it’ll soon become part of the landscape. You probably don’t have to worry about sand in your house but you might want to know how to get sand out of your car.

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Abandoned-New-Orleans-home-10-years-after-Hurricane-KatrinaSeph Lawless/REX Shutterstock

Hurricane Damage

This New Orleans home took on extensive damage when Hurricane Katrina struck and as you can see, the roof already has vegetation growing and its starting to hang below the gutters. Here’s how you can prepare you home for hurricane season and your family for severe weather.

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Abandoned-home-in-Indonesia-following-a-volcano-eruptionBinsar Bakkara/AP/Shutterstock

Home Following a Volcano Eruption

This Indonesian home remained after Mount Sinabung erupted. The volcano started erupting in 2010 and has had intermittent eruptions since, the most recent coming June 9, 2019. People left behind their belongings as they fled the ash and pumice that rained down from the volcano. You won’t believe the strangest things people have found in their houses after they moved in.

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