Whether you’ve had some formal training in plumbing, electrical, or carpentry or your dad had you help with regular household maintenance when you were a kid, you may have developed a DIY attitude when it comes to home repairs. And while plenty of homeowners are capable of taking on tasks as diverse as changing the filter in the furnace, flushing the water heater, snaking the drains, caulking the tub, rolling out insulation in the attic, replacing damaged drywall, and more, you may not necessarily be qualified to handle heavy-duty home repairs, even with plenty of tools and a slew of YouTube tutorials at your disposal.
In some cases, you not only risk irreparable damage to your home by failing to hire a professional, but you could also suffer serious personal harm as a result. Even if you think you can do it all, here are just a few home repairs you really shouldn’t attempt on your own.
Hazardous material removal. Plenty of older homes were built with hazardous materials that are no longer legal to use in construction. So any time you start peeling off wallpaper, knocking down walls, or scraping a popcorn ceiling, you could come across lead-based paint or asbestos, depending on the age of your structure. And these are not necessarily materials you want to tangle with because of the health issues they’ve been known to cause. Your best bet is to call in a hazmat team or other professionals qualified to remove these items in a safe manner.
Plumbing. In truth, there are some plumbing repairs the average person can definitely manage, such as replacing the wax seal or a float valve in the toilet or installing a new faucet or fixture in the sink or shower, just for example. But when it comes to digging up the basement in order to install new pipes, you might want to take a step back and realize that you could be doing more harm than good, adding to your expense by attempting a job that you probably won’t be able to complete on your own.
Electrical. There’s not much to replacing a lighting fixture or moving an outlet, provided you practice safety first and turn off the power before you start. But there are certain electrical concerns you might not want to monkey with. For one thing, mistakes could lead to electrocution or fire hazard. But there is also a slew of building codes to consider, and unless you want to do some extensive research, apply for permits, or face the wrath of a building inspector, this is one home repair you should probably leave to the pros.
Mold removal. Every home has mold. But some structures end up with extensive mold growth or strains that could be harmful to the health of inhabitants. And while you might think you know how to deal with it, you don’t want to risk making the problem worse or getting sick in the process. So calling in a team of mold specialists to eradicate the issue is a must.
Gas appliance repair. You might feel confident enough in your abilities to replace or repair AC compressor parts, but an error here won’t lead to the same kind of hazard as if you were to make a mistake while tinkering with your gas furnace. Any time you’re dealing with gas there are two things that could go very wrong. One is that you could wind up filling your home with deadly gas.
But potentially worse is the fire hazard. One spark could turn your home into a raging inferno. The point is that you should probably avoid tampering with anything that involves gas.