20 Home Insurance Pictures That Will Send Chills Down Your Spine

By Nancy B
October 22, 2023

We pledge to provide straight talk from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts. Read the Northern Neck Insurance Integrity Promise.

Is this a post-apocalyptic scene from a zombie movie? Nope. This is a picture from one of our home insurance inspections. Home insurance claims can also reveal all kinds of scary stuff. What better time of year to share our most chilling home pictures with a little dark humor? 

It also provides an opportunity to talk about essential home maintenance in a  fun way. Fall is the perfect time to knock out a few home maintenance projects, but we don't want your D.I.Y. to become a D.O.A.! When you need a home repair or decide to renovate, always put your safety first and know when to hire a certified and licensed professional. Check for good references rather than hiring spooky strangers who come knocking on your door. We've seen our fair share of home repair and maintenance scenarios that turned a nightmare into a frightening reality, like a fire or the injury of a family member, not to mention an unexpected homeowners insurance claim.

Now... cover your eyes, peek through your fingers, and check out these frightfully entertaining pictures of home projects gone wrong. From neglect to well-intended repairs, one thing is for sure: a little duct tape and a ladder can get folks and their homes into some scary situations! 

1. The Invisible Man



                        📷: Structure Tech

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. You're looking down into a chimney and there's a boot down there. We hope the poor guy who lost it isn't somewhere down there too! Prevent home fires by maintaining your chimney and wood stove by getting them cleaned and inspected this fall. Annual maintenance is the most effective way to prevent home chimney fires.



No escape out of this dryer vent! This lint-clogged duct is a severe home fire hazard. Be sure to clean out the lint trap on your dryer after each load and have your dryer exhaust duct to the outside cleaned professionally every year!

3. Ghostbuster's Slime


If you've seen the movie, you might think this ghoul goo came all the way from New York's sewer system. In reality, it's nasty build-up in a homeowner's A/C condensation drainpipe. If you don't clean this drainage pipe yearly, you could have some costly interior home water damage. When you have your A/C system serviced annually, make sure the technician takes care of that.

4. I'm Melting!


Wicked witches melt, and so do electrical parts exposed to overloaded circuits. This electrical outlet is actually really scary. Some electrical issue is causing this outlet to heat up to the point the plastic cover is melting. What a dangerous fire hazard! It's time to turn off the power main and call a reputable and licensed electrician.

5. Little Shop of Home Horrors


Feed me, Seymour! This home's gutters need a good cleaning. They were neglected for so long that weeds rooted and grew tall and healthy. These gutters certainly will not help this home divert away heavy rain and protect it from interior flooding. Clean your gutters annually, or better yet and safer, hire a pro to do it for you. 

6. Deck of Cards

deckpulled off bytruck1deckpulledoffbytruck2


This deck needed to come down and fast! The homeowner tied the deck to his pickup truck and put the pedal to the metal. But the deck was attached to the house as it should be, so a little more came off than he bargained for. It's a good thing he had good homeowners insurance! By the way, you can check out four signs you should stop using your deck so you can be sure yours is safe too.

7. The Monster Melter

At their last cookout, this poor homeowner forgot to move the grill far enough away from their home's vinyl siding. Or they moved the grill back before it had time to cool. Either way, they ended up with a home insurance claim. Always grill at least ten feet from your home or any property and keep kids and pets safely away too. We have a few other scary grilling hazards to watch out for.

8. Medusa


                      📷: Structure Tech

Look this plumbing mess in the eye and you might turn to stone! We're not sure what is going on here, but these water lines should be much shorter. This home may not be in danger, but this probably doesn't help with water pressure. We can tell you some things you can do to protect your plumbing from freezing this winter and how to turn off your home's water main in a flooding emergency.

9. Frankenstein's Gutter


Better send Igor to find some spare parts for this Home's GUT-ter system! When it rains, it pours, especially during Virginia's peak hurricane season.  Missing gutter parts leave your home vulnerable to basement flooding and expensive interior water damage. Make sure you've got the elbow connected to the downspout and the downspout connected to the... you get the picture.

10. Creepy Crop Circles in the Attic


                        📷: Structure Tech

Strange things are happening in this homeowner's attic! What does it mean?!! We have one idea. There's water leaking in from a faulty roof and wetting the insulation. There's a can light in the room's ceiling underneath, re-drying the insulation. Do you have your roof inspected annually by a licensed and certified roofing professional? This could be a home mold takeover waiting to happen!

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11. The Mad Scientist 


                     📷: Structure Tech

Oh, look! We found those missing gutter parts! This may have saved the homeowner a trip to the hardware store, but it's much wiser to use designated heating ductwork when connecting to your return air. We also have a few other ways you can prepare your home's heat for cold weather and how to maintain good air quality.

12. The Levitating Ladder


                    📷: Structure Tech

This ladder's just a tad too short. It's a good idea to measure before you buy and install your attic ladder. Did you know there are over 500,000 falls from ladders annually, and 97% of those happen at home? Be sure to practice home ladder safety. Your ladder should be the appropriate length for the job and securely standing on firm level ground. Avoid using ladders in high winds or storms and always have a friend or family member spot you. And leave the highest jobs, like roof inspections and chimney cleaning, to the experts! 

13. Harry Potter's Nagini


This almost looks like the Hogwarts sewer system with Voldemort's giant slithering viper rather than a homeowner's flooded crawl space. We can help with dealing with a flooded basement. We see this type of water damage from clogged gutter systems. What scary stuff is lurking in your gutters?

14. The Electrocution Chamber


We doubt this homeowner is trying to carry out the death penalty in their basement, but this electric D.I.Y. job is not only dangerous with its exposed wires but also a severe home fire hazard. Leave electrical work to a licensed and certified professional. It's just not worth the risk.

15. The Smoking Gun


This time, it wasn't the grill that caused this charred home insurance claim, but it was an unattended cigarette. The number one creepy culprit for home fires is unattended cooking, followed by supplemental heating equipment. Keep children, pets, and flammables at least three feet away from fire or heating equipment, and never turn your back on any potential fire hazard around your home, like holiday candles! We have a few more tips on fireproofing your home for winter.

16. The (No)Funhouse


                              📷: Structure Tech

We sure hope this homeowner is not having a party on this deck! The floor is bowing like a carnival funhouse because it does not have the proper support. Did you know there are 40 million decks in the United States, and approximately half are not code-compliant? Ensure your deck is safe and built to the proper building codes for your Virginia locale. 

17. The Phantom Chewer


Forget about termites. It looks like there was a beaver in this attic! Actually, rodents and squirrels are voracious chewers and most likely did this damage. They love to chew wood and the plastic insulation around electrical wiring. Electrical wires often lay across wooden beams in an attic; the exposed wire can overheat and cause a fire. Is your attic trying to tell you something?

We'll call this next group of pictures from the same house Trilogy of Terror! Let's start with...

18. The Kitchen Floor of No Return


This unfortunate homeowner's claim was just the beginning of a neglectful nightmare. What could have caused a kitchen floor to collapse, you ask? Take a look at the ceiling:

19. It's Alive!

Water coming from somewhere above caused this same homeowner's moldy mayhem. You may wonder if home insurance covers mold. Black mold is not only expensive to remove, but it also causes serious health issues! But what is causing it to grow in this house? Read on!

20. R.I.P. Roof


Ahhhh- the roof! This hardly qualifies as a roof anymore. All that interior damage could have been prevented if replaced when needed. Your roof is your home's first line of protection. High winds and hail from severe weather and hurricanes can cause damage to your home's roof that's hard to see. It's essential to have it inspected annually to ensure no issues. Some roof damage is not this evident and needs a trained eye to be identified. Find out if your roof needs to be replaced soon.

We hope you've enjoyed these crazy, creepy pictures. Make sure you have good home insurance. Don't put off that needed fall home maintenance. Do what you can do safely, leave the stuff you can't to the pros, and leave the scary to Halloween!

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THE NORTHERN NECK INSURANCE INTEGRITY PROMISE — We pledge to provide straight talk and good counsel from our NNINS Virginia insurance experts through our blog. While we hope you find this to be a helpful source of information, it does not replace the guidance of a licensed insurance professional, nor does it modify the terms of your Northern Neck Insurance policy in any way. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy.