Living in Singapore, I have been amazed how fast high humidity and heat destroys things. I didn't wear a pair of running shoes for a few months and when I finally wore them again, the glue binding the rubber to cloth gave way, and the shoes fell apart.

Likewise, some types of concrete break down after about 10-15 years, especially around pipes or in extra wet places like the bathroom. When it breaks down, long cracks radiate out from a central hole where bits of concrete flake off.

Bamboo poles need to be replaced every 3 years (the nonmagical kind at least). Color...