It can be tempting to do your own home repairs, especially if it seems like a quick and easy fix, and you don’t want to pay for a professional tradesman. However, DIY home repairs can result in costly accidents that can harm you or your home.
Here are five types of household projects that should only be performed by professionals. Even with detailed instructions, there are too many risks associated with these tasks for untrained and unskilled individuals.
Your plumbing should deliver clean fresh water into your home and drain away sewage. It took thousands of years for mankind to refine this system so that we can enjoy the benefits of running water in the home.
Needless to say, the plumbing system is fairly intricate, and sometimes carries the added risk of combining water with electricity. All the pipes must be connected, unblocked and uncracked for this system to work efficiently and safely.
Novice plumbers struggle to use the correct equipment and may also mix up pipes so that drinking water becomes contaminated. Installing the pipes incorrectly can lead to leaks or blockages, and even digging trenches for pipes can be hazardous if you accidentally damage any wiring, underground electricity cables, or gas pipes.
Water seepage can trigger the growth of mould and other harmful bacteria, while untreated sewer issues could cause polluted water to flow back into your house through the plumbing.
A DIY plumbing job could also sabotage the workings of your thermostat, making your tap water run either stone-cold or hot enough to scald your skin.
Your gas appliances must be fitted and maintained by a licensed professional gas fitter.
If your appliance is wrongly fitted or has inadequate ventilation, then this could cause a serious health hazard.
You’ll also need an expert to verify whether the location you have chosen is suitable for the gas appliance.
A gas appliance needs a certain amount of natural ventilation for complete combustion, or it will produce carbon monoxide (a deadly gas with no odour). Compared to indoor appliances, outdoor appliances need more ventilation, to prevent a build-up of toxic gases.
If you want to make structural changes to your home, such as knocking down walls or constructing new rooms, you need to delegate to an expert.
Demolishing walls can release toxic materials like asbestos fibres, and major structural changes can affect the overall stability and safety of your home.
You may even find yourself injured from falling materials or exposed electrical wires. Another unexpected problem with structural changes is that you might disturb pests like rodents,spiders, or termites which can lead to further injuries.
It is illegal to perform unlicensed electrical work, even in your own home.
A simple error, such as using the wrong electrical wire, the wrong fuse size, or confusing the neutral wire with the ground wire, could cause a short circuit or create an electrical fire hazard. Worse still, you could be electrocuted on the job.
You might be lucky and suffer a minor jolt, but a high voltage shock can lead to deep burns and internal injury, or even death.
If your electrical work starts a fire, you could also be facing financial loss, not to mention endangering the lives of your family and neighbours.
When your roof leaks, the water may continue accumulating and travelling downwards through every crevice and porous surface in your house, eventually causing major damage.
While you might want to desperately fix the problem, you could cause even more damage to the roof if you don’t know exactly what you are doing.
Additionally, while working on a roof, you are at risk of falling and injuring yourself. Before you climb onto the roof, ask yourself how you will react if you encounter a creature living in the roof cavity? Or if you were to slip and fall?
Possums and snakes are common roof-dwellers in Australia, and they can give you a fright when you are perched precariously on a ladder or reaching into the roof cavity.
Your best option is to hire a professional.
For the ultimate peace of mind, make sure your property is protected to the degree it deserves with affordable, award-winning Home & Contents Insurance.