There is a television series on The Weather Channel called “Secrets of the Earth.” One episode is titled “Abandoned Places” and focuses on deterioration of property that has been abandoned for any variety of reasons (Detroit, Katrina …).
While it shows drastic deterioration, I would like you to keep in mind that any time you do not take care of your house and other buildings on your property, the environment can work to destroy it. Depending on where you live, that damage can come on fairly quickly.
Make sure you stay active on your home’s repairs. These include:
- Cracks in brick mortar that may allow moisture in toward the walls
- Missing tiles/shingles on the roof which allow leaks
- Cracked or missing caulk around doors and windows letting moisture, air and insects through
- Wood rot on eaves, soffits, door and window frames, and shutters
- Crumbling or cracked concrete in your slab, garage floor and driveway that could erode further
- Water ponding at your foundation which could cause water damage that you cannot see
Many houses in Oxford are second homes and stay vacant for long periods. Others may be for sale and already vacated because of a job in another town. If you own a single-family home that is vacant, plan to visit it regularly or hire someone to check on it. Your lawn care company may not be equipped to help you with this so find a concierge-type company to keep an eye on things.
Meanwhile, I hope you get a chance to watch this episode of “Secrets of the Earth.” It’s pretty interesting.