Using Google street view history, www.goobingdetroit.com records the decay of homes in Detroit. Above shows homes September 2009, September 2011, and September 2013
I’ve been fascinated with the decline of Detroit since a guy in my dormitory told me back in 1972 that he’d moved into an abandoned mansion because it was free. Several weeks later a gang broke in. He barricaded his bedroom door with furniture and jumped out the window, never to return. After the financial crash, the photos of Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre and goobingdetroit rekindled my interest in Detroit.
So why do houses fall apart? The best answer can be found in Alan Weisman’s book “The world without us”, but here’s the short answer. According to HowStuffWorks:
- “The amount of time necessary for your home to fall to pieces depends on several factors. The quality of your home’s construction, the type of climate you live in, the shape your house is in and the materials your house is made of all contribute to the amount of time it would take for your home to deteriorate.”
- Water wreaks the worst destruction. In addition to your roof, the caulk around windows will decay and disintegrate, letting water in within 25 years of last application, rotting the wall around the window. From other sites, here’s how: Roofs get leaks when trees add hundreds of pounds of leaves and seeds that clog the drains after rain or heavy snow that weights 8 lbs/gallon, causing leaks which leach glue and materials from the plywood, tearing off the membrane of roof materials. About 1.5 years later, the roof falls in, letting water and snow inside. Broken windows also allow moisture, mold, and so on. Mold starts to grow and dry rots walls. Tree seeds take root.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…