25 Dumb Ways People Managed To Wreck Their Homes

Published 6 months ago

We all make mistakes but sadly, some are more costly than others. This particular collection of images depicts folks who ended up accidentally damaging their homes in a terrible run of luck.

Redditor, u/Cheirogaleidae sparked the discussion online on the r/homeowners subreddit when they asked netizens to relate their own similar unfortunate incidents. As usual, folks did not disappoint, narrating those awful moments where they caused the destruction of their own home through sheer ignorance and shared a pic of the evidence to boot.

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Image source: CaptainAwesome06, Sir_Tom_Tom

Putting egg shells down your drain/garbage disposal. Tons of people do it. It can create a cement and clog your drain. A plumber told my wife that decades ago so we never did it. I figured there’s no harm in not doing it so better safe than sorry. Then some friends of ours had plumbing problems. Lucky for them, the point of compaction was above an unfinished room so it was easy to get to. He cut out a section of PVC pipe and it was like a chunk of cement inside. All caused from egg shells.

#2 New homeowner at 26 and grilled too close to the plastic siding of my house and warped it

Image source: IAmTheeMoose, Splattabox

#3 Moved to texas around a year ago. Learned the hard way that during dry hot months you are supposed to water your foundation to help the clay like soil settle in and around it. Wtf ,water my house?

Image source: Hotsaltynutz, nhireddy99


Image source: Sparky_Zell, hackifier1

Ignoring very basic maintenance like clearing debris causing water to pool on roofs. And ignoring caulking around windows.

My Aunt and Uncle had a beautiful Spanish mission style house from the 1920s. And it was in really good condition when they bought it.

Roughly 20-25 years later, the only thing in halfway decent condition were the wood floors. Roof was shot and actively leaking in multiple rooms. Causing plaster ceilings to just fall.

Exterior walls were destroyed. Framing was completely destroyed, and again plaster just falling off he walls.

The house stood in great condition for over 70 years. And through minor neglect, fell apart in the last 20.

#5 I only learned recently about the filter in the dishwasher and I’m so grossed out.

Image source: Freshouttapatience, MSG_ME_YOUR_MEGANS

#6 A friends daughter once cleaned her basement floor using petrol. Then the boiler clicked on. She didn’t have serious injuries, but the house was destroyed.

Image source: ProfessionalEven296

#7 Brick is meant to breathe. Painting it can trap moisture inside your walls.

Image source: jo-z, Don Foster Masonry Cosmetics, Inc.

#8 Not paying attention to wooden things that need periodic painting. Porch posts, door trim, fences, etc. If you don’t keep up with it, it rots. Then you have to replace porch posts, door trim, fences, etc. I had no idea until things rotted. ?

Image source: MeowMobile999, This Old House

#9 Not paying attention to termites invading his garage. The framing was so chewed up that the only thing keeping it standing was the outside stucco. And he won’t take advice on it

Image source: greginvalley, SerendipityAlike


Image source: jimfish98, bven

Ignorance in process with my neighbor. They have a very large Oak in their front yard. Its worked its way into their septic and the trunk is only about 10ft from the house. All of the weight is to one side and about 10 years ago the soil was flat around the whole trunk. Hurricane came in, all the sudden the back is elevated a bit. Told the owner, he moved, told the new owner. They have ignored it, then this last year the back soil raised about 2-3 inches in a day. The opposing side, the ground has sunk a couple inches. Bottom line is the tree is leaning bad, neighbor was told again. It is going to fall, just a matter of when. The way it sits and leans, it will destroy their septic system, any cars in the driveway, and take out the front 10ft of their garage. The trunk could hit the house and do a lot of damage, but the roots pulling will damage the foundation for sure. The roots also have their water line running through them so they will lose water. They could spend 3k now and remove it but will probably let it do $50-150k in damage instead.

#11 Forgot to take a hose off of the spigot before the first freeze of winter.

Image source: sudifirjfhfjvicodke, really-anonymus

#12 Flushing “flushable” wipes.

Image source: SousVideAndSmoke, turokassault


Image source: JezebelleAcid, NippleSalsa

Husband’s coworker hired someone to remove a tree from his backyard. They quoted him $600 to do it. Dude was not insured or licensed. Near as we can tell, it was just a dude who owned a chainsaw.

Tree fell on the house, damaged part of the roof, siding, and took out the electricity. His insurance wouldn’t cover it because the dude who did it was just a dude. Took 4 days to get the electricity fixed. The dude who took down the tree “felt really bad” about the damage he caused, so is going to fix it all himself.

Husband’s coworker had owned the house less than a month.


Image source: Mr_Midwestern, EagleArk

Friend decided to finish his basement. Built his stud wall on the ground and tipped it up to place, discovered it was an inch or two taller then it should have been. Instead of taking it down/apart and cutting to size, he managed to force it into place essentially jacking up a section of his 1st floor. Upstairs, tile grout began to crack and come up, doors didn’t shut/latch properly and you could see new gaps between the baseboards and flooring.


Image source: InvisibleSoulMate, Predator_Hicks

Previous homeowners bricked over the only (tiny) access point to the crawlspace. It’s been super fun trying to fix copper plumbing lines they ran under the house, up an exterior wall to the 2nd floor laundry. Every winter they freeze a few times. There’s supposedly a heating line on them but I expect it’s no longer working.

I’m using next weekend to pull out the floor in the back stairwell to create a new access point so I can get under and see what’s happening. I dread going into the crawlspace, been here for 7 years and I have no idea what to expect ?


Probably the biggest one I see a lot (insurance agent) is people not trimming trees over their roof. Usually the company has something to say about it, and it’s not just because you want to avoid having a giant limb fall onto your roof during a storm, but also because the falling leaves/pine needles will make short work of your roof by encouraging moss, rot, whatever else to propagate. I’ve told clients if they won’t trim the trees, they’ll want to get up there once or twice a year with a roof rake/broom, so it’s easier to just take down the limbs and be safe

Image source: kevymetal87


Image source: MountainHighOnLife, algoN19

I was this dummy. My toilet started running. Intermittently at first but then more frequently. I kept putting it off. Then I had three major surgeries back to back and put off looking at the bills until they were due at the end of the month. My water bill was somewhere around $550 dollars. It is normally $50!

Then because I’d put off looking at it until the end of the month and the water bill invoices for the month before that, I hadn’t caught it in time. So when the next month’s bill arrived it was $650ish!

It was just piece inside the tank that needed swapped out. A $10 part that literally took 4 minutes. It cost me over $1k just because I kept putting off looking at a toilet that had started running.

#18 Furnace filters. Replace them more often than you think you need. Don’t run ultra high MERV ratings. You need airflow over your indoor coil for the system to work well.

Image source: 69stangrestomod, Schlobfather

#19 Oh pick me! I had a wash sink next to my washing machine. Had NO idea that the washing machine actually drained into the sink. Left a pile of rags in the sink and flooded the whole basement. I would like to say this was isolated, but I went on to do it two more times. The shop vac was my friend.

Image source: anon, anon


Image source: Vlascia, Bunnss2018

Our sump pump was working when we moved in but about 9 months later we had a week of heavy spring rains. I realized I hadn’t heard the sump pump making noise for awhile so I went into the garage to check the 3ft crawlspace we never use which runs the length of our entire house. I kid you not — we had a 2ft deep swimming pool under our home. We spent $7k on getting the water pumped out, mold mitigation, getting a vapor barrier installed, and replacing the sump pump with one that has an alarm. The old sump pump was the cheapest one our plumber had ever seen. Would’ve been nice if our home inspector had bothered to mention it.

#21 Failure to have the chimney of a wood burning fireplace inspected and cleaned before lighting a fire in your new home. Burning cardboard in a fireplace. That house burned down day 3 when the family decided to get rid of boxes.

Image source: Flossy40, Logansshea

#22 When every adult does not know where the whole-house water shutoff valve is.

Image source: Pot_Flashback1248, No-Let8686


Image source: empyreanhaze, ut4r

* ignoring the anode rod replacement requirements of your hot water heater
* not changing furnace filters often enough, can damage carpet with gross stains and put stress on the HVAC unit
* using those chlorine tablets in your toilet tank, causing plastic parts to degrade and eventually fail


* Don’t ignore a dank smell in the basement, get a dehumidifier ASAP because that smell is going to only get worse and ruin anything stored there stink, and eventually black mold will arrive
* If you get roof leaks, it’s time to replace, not patch
* Clean out the dryer lint trap every time you use it to keep all the c**p from clogging the exhaust hose and vent which could get hot and/or even catch fire
* Keep the gutters cleaned out and test the downspouts annually to make sure they aren’t clogged up (if you get a big frozen gutter waterfall, melting ice can pull the gutter down if it gets too heavy, and it can cause water to drip into the house in ways that normally wouldn’t happen (I had a wall waterfall running past my basement washer and dryer outlets which was terrifying)

Image source: Scott43206


Image source: Five-and-Dimer, MaxHellGate

A future customer replaced the ballcock in his second floor toilet and then went out of town.
A neighbor called the police the next day when water started coming out the front door.
Always call a licensed plumber.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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damaged, dumb ways, funny, home wrecker, homeowner, ironic, ruined
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