With a plethora of videos online showing you how to do everything from fix that frustrating leak to installing your own insulation, you might be tempted to get a little more handy than you need to around the home. Certain home repairs and renovations require the skilled hand of a professional, especially when it comes to electrical wiring and major plumbing. Still, you can fix basic things around the house using products you probably have on hand or items easily purchased from a hardware store. How do you know when to do it yourself or call in the professionals? Here are some tips for basic DIY projects and advice on when to seek help.
[title text=”Where There’s Water”]
Drain clogs can happen over time regardless of how well you monitor the trap for hair and other debris. But they can be prevented from turning into a nightmare if you stay on top of the problem. You don’t even need costly chemicals, and in fact, the older your pipes are, the less you should pour harsh chemicals into toilets or sinks. Instead, perform routine de-clogging maintenance by combining distilled white vinegar and baking soda, two items found cheap and plentiful at most grocery stores. Just be careful when adding baking soda to vinegar; the reaction between the two can cause a geyser-like effect.
If the clog persists and worsens, then you need some extra help. There may be an unknown element clogging the drains or preventing the pipes from functioning correctly. Don’t wait too long to call an expert when it comes to plumbing issues. Many plumbers charge a hefty fee for estimates alone, and plumbing issues are almost always astronomical if they get to the point where they need pro maintenance.
[title text=”Electrically Charged”]
Have your lights been flickering lately? Do you find that certain outlets emit a tiny spark when you plug something in? These are tell-tale signs that your electrical wiring may be on the fritz, and you need a professional. It’s never a good idea to mess with the electricity in your home. Aside from being extremely dangerous, attempting to fix wiring issues around your house could damage other aspects of your home’s internal setup. If you suspect that there’s a problem with your wiring, then call in an expert just to be sure.
While you shouldn’t attempt to fix electrical issues on your own, you can help prevent some electrical malfunctions by making some energy-efficient swaps. Replace regular incandescent bulbs with LED lighting, keep the lights you’re not using off and avoid running too many high-powered objects at the same time. Doing these things may not help you prevent inherent electrical flaws, but it may help lower the energy bill and keep the lights on longer.
[title text=”Pesky Pest Inspections”]
During the spring and late fall, you may notice an influx of insects, spiders and unwelcome rodent visitors. A few bugs here and there don’t present a problem, but continual insect-spotting may indicate a larger issue. In the cooler months, squirrels and other rodents may infest your walls because they find the space as cozy as you find your living room. And while you may be able to stave off an infestation by spraying your home once a month with commercial bug killers, you still should call a professional if the problem continues.
Professional exterminators know what to look for when they debug a home. They’re looking for more than just surface critters; they conduct an in-depth search for termites and other tiny pests that can cause major damage. If you want the rodents gone but not exterminated, then you can probably find a local exterminating company that offers humane displacement. In any case, hiring a professional bug-zapper on a quarterly basis will keep the bugs away and your family safe.
For the most part, you can handle stains, most clogs, bug prevention and other routine household drama on your own as long as you stay vigilant and use a cashback system to stock up on everyday household supplies. You’ll need to call in the experts when things worsen or you’re attempting to handle intricate wiring and structural aspects. When in doubt, it’s better to ask an expert than to trust your amateur instincts. Many professionals offer a separate fee for estimates and advice, so it may be well worth the time and money to ask for help before starting on your own. You don’t have to be a pro to understand and implement basic household repairs and renovations, but getting some extra advice before you begin will always pay for itself.