This panel box is attached to a townhome inspected by my company, Magpie Property Inspections LLC recently in Denver Colorado. The unit is located outside on the west side of the building maintained by the Homeowners Association. The entire area has become overgrown with vegetation and as you can see, it now has a number of vines growing inside the panel box putting pressure on the breakers and service conductors. The panel box and breakers are very old and worn, which is a concern, but the contact with all of these vines presents a serious hazard. The panel should be evaluated for repair or replacement by a qualified electrician.
This example brings to mind the need for homeowners to check on their electrical panels regularly, particularly those stored outside. It should always be clean and dry inside. It should be readily accessible with at least 30 inches of clearance in front for easy service. Water and vegetation should never be in contact, or be placed near the electrical panel or outside service drop. A situation like this represents serious neglect which could end up causing a serious injury and/or loss to property.