Learning how to handle home repairs and upgrades is a valuable skill. It can help save time and money while increasing independence. When you DIY, you get the sense of accomplishment of creating the home you want with a job well done.
However, there are specific scenarios where calling a professional should be the default. Here are six services better left to a professional to protect the integrity of your home and your personal safety.
Your HVAC system is comprised of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioner. It’s a complex system that could have varying components depending on the size and age of your home. Working on these systems requires special training, and doing something wrong comes with a considerable price tag.
Another challenge with trying to DIY your HVAC repairs and maintenance is not knowing when it’s time for an upgrade. If your HVAC is reaching the end of its lifespan, it could be negatively impacting your utility costs and air quality (source: https://calljackrabbit.com/). Stay on top of things like cleaning the filters, then leave the rest to a certified HVAC technician.
In addition to ensuring your heating, cooling, and air filtration are operating correctly, and your HVAC also helps control humidity levels in your home. If you don’t have a professional monitor and repair your HVAC, you’re putting your home at risk for mold growth.
It shouldn’t be shocking that electrical work is on this list. Working with electricity is one of the most dangerous aspects of home upgrades and maintenance. Failing to turn off the right power source or connecting the wrong wire could result in a fatal shock or turn into an electrical fire. There are more than 50,000 electrical fires per year, resulting in 1,400 injuries and 500 deaths. It’s not worth the risk.
Some advanced DIYers feel comfortable turning off the power and switching out a light fixture. However, anything to do with installing new fixtures, requiring components, or adding outlets is best left to a professional.
Plumbing work doesn’t create the same dangers as electrical work, but it can be just as disastrous financially. Shoddy plumbing work could lead to ruptured pipes and leaks, which cause significant property damage and mold growth. Furthermore, most home insurance packages don’t cover flooding. So if a burst pipe destroys your basement, those costs will come out of pocket.
Even small leaks can be costly, driving up your water bill and risking your financial health. It only takes a bit of excess moisture for black mold to develop, which is another significant health concern and expense. Leave the waterworks to the professionals.
If you’re making significant changes to your home’s layout, you may be excited to start the demolition process. Fortunately, demolition is something that you can DIY. However, you should always talk to a contractor before making structural changes.
A contractor will be able to identify if your plans impact a support wall, which could affect the structural integrity of your home. It’s also important to understand whether there are wires, pipes, or ducts in the way of your vision.
Making structural changes without professional clearance or the correct permits could put your home at risk and invalidate your insurance. Trying to save money by DIYing a major renovation could cost you everything you’ve worked for.
Replacing the roof is simple on paper. You remove old shingles and underlay and add new ones. However, it’s more complex in reality and a huge safety issue. It’s common for roofers to discover the problems with the decking underneath the shingles, which will need to be properly replaced to avoid leaks and mold growth.
Climbing onto a roof to apply shingles is a huge safety risk. Roofing work is one of the leading causes of fatalities at work, making it one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry— and this is among trained professionals. 97% of ladder and roof falls occur at home. All it takes is one wrong step to change or end your life. Call a professional instead.
If your house experiences a plumbing leak, excess humidity, or roofing issues, mold growth is a nasty side effect. If this issue goes undetected, it will spread and grow, negatively impacting the safety of your home. Mold growth can lead to several health issues, especially for those with underlying conditions like allergies or asthma.
One of the common DIY recommendations for surface mold removal is using a combination of vinegar and baking soda. However, this doesn’t work if the mold growth is too severe. Additionally, improper handling of this process could cause the spores to become airborne and spread to unaffected areas.
Professionals have the right safety and removal equipment to ensure every spore is removed from your home. They can remove the mold without causing additional damage and help detect the source of the issue.
Handling home improvements yourself is honorable work, but it’s not always the way to go. Embrace the DIY spirit when updating cosmetic features in your home, but leave these tasks to the pros.