Savvy homeowners can save themselves a fortune these days simply by doing basic home repairs, but getting too ambitious can lead to problems.
Whilst there is an online tutorial for almost any job around the home now, a sensible property owner will know exactly which repairs to do themselves, and when to admit that a professional is needed.
We have selected four home repairs that everyone really should know how to carry out, and four that are best left to those with training and experience.
Leaky Pipes (Fix)
Leaky pipes can be a tough one to diagnose, but if you know where the leak is then you should be able to make an informed decision about repairs. Quite often, water dripping off a pipe is the symptom of a loose nut, perhaps on a tap connector or one of the traps under your sink. Simply by tightening them up, you might be able to stop the problem. Also, always remember ‘righty, tighty’ when it comes to knowing which way to turn the nut.
Washing Machine (Don’t Fix)
A broken washing machine can have a huge impact on a family home, but you definitely should not try to fix one yourself. They are a complex machine which mixes water and electricity, which means the professionals should get the job done for you. Our article titled My Experience of Repairing My Washing Machine explains how straightforward the job should be for those with the right skills.
Blocked Drain (Fix)
A blocked drain can be terrifying, but often the outcome is much worse than the scale of the problem. There are a couple of home fixes you can try. Well and Good suggest a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as a first option, if the problem appears to be under the sink, rather than in the outside drains. You can buy more harsh products too, and if that fails then try purchasing some drain rods and elbow-length gloves and getting into the drains outside the property. Much depends on exactly where the blockage is, but you should almost always be able to shift it yourself.
Broken Boiler (Don’t Fix)
A broken boiler can be a real problem around the home, especially as we approach winter, but you should not try to fix it yourself. According to a boiler replacement and installation guide on HomeServe, your boiler is the heart of your home’s central heating system. As such, basic repairs are best left to the professionals to avoid complicating matters further. There are no shortage of tutorial videos out there helping you through some basic maintenance tasks, but if you get it wrong you can do more damage than good. A professional will have the right set of tools to measure pressure and the knowledge provided by fixing them day in, day out, which makes them best placed to sort the problem.
Patching a Hole (Fix)
Have you had pictures or wall hangings up in the house, and having taken them down discovered unsightly holes? Instead of just covering them with another picture, fixing them is something you can tackle yourself. A simple dab of DIY filler should suffice, which can be applied with a knife and left to dry. The rough exterior is easily sanded down ready for you to apply a touch-up paint job. Voila, clean and tidy walls.
Faulty Electrics (Don’t Fix)
If you have a problem with your electrics at home, do not try to fix it yourself. A proper electrician will have specialist equipment that allows them to test current, as well as individual appliances. As a DIY expert you might feel you can approach such tasks, but to do so puts you and your family in danger. Home Safety explains how dangerous electricity can be, underlying the risks posed by inadequate remedial works. If the outcome of a botched DIY job could be a fire or electrocution, then leave it to those who know best.
Cleaning Gutters (Fix)
A leaking gutter might not seem like a huge problem, but it can escalate quickly if rain persists. Dripping water can damage masonry and water could overflow and run down the inside of your walls. A fix is simple though, just grab some ladders and get up there yourself. Make sure you have gloves, and just pick the leaves (or whatever else is up there) and throw it to the ground. Once you are done, collect up the material and maybe even compost it to help on the garden the following year, as much of it will be organic material.
Asbestos Removal (Don’t Fix)
Asbestos is a hazardous substance which can cause breathing difficulties and long-term lung damage. You are obliged to get an expert in not just to remove it safely from your property, but also dispose of it safely too. Citizen’s Information report that it can contribute to an increased risk of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. With such dangers attached to working with the substance, it is not just advised to let the professionals deal with it, but it is a legal requirement.
Specially written for REPAIRMYSTUFF.ie
By: Rylea Jazzy
This website is an initiative of Monaghan County Council, other local authorities, the Local Authority Waste Prevention Network (LAPN), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the repair industry.