Is there a clear description somewhere of how decay is supposed to work?

I’m a fairly new player on a PVE server on PS4 and had a weird experience when a neighbor’s base decayed down to zero.

Basically, the base took on a state of “decayed” at the end of 140 hours and I was then able to do things like pop doors off hinges and loot locked boxes and crafting thralls by destroying their container objects.

When I then destroyed a structural component to make getting out easier (I was at 500% encumbrance), the entire base imploded around me.

Am I supposed to be able to do that or is this an exploit I should report?

You are supposed to be able to do this.
When a structure in the “decayed” state … that is the 24 hour period after the decay timer has elapsed you, a player who does not own the structure, is able to demolish individual items and demolish entire buildings.
After the 24 hours has elapsed, the next time the building “renders” as a player runs past it will despawn, leaving behind lootable bags of items if there was anything in the containers or workbenches when they despawned.

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Okay thanks. I felt kind of bad looting but it’s good to know this was intended behavior.

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