We all try to live within our means. Most of us do anyway. Most of us are always one dollar short of our monthly bills, which makes that last week of every month a true testing period, even at the best of times. Then comes an unexpected cost we hadn’t factored in, namely a handful of home repairs that start to leak dollar bills. That is when we really start to sweat. After all, how are we meant to figure out exactly where to direct the limited amount of cash we have put away for such emergencies when more than one repair job has suddenly cropped up?
That is where we come in. You see, we have been speaking to a few people in the know and asked them if they would kindly throw their two pennies in by explaining exactly which home repairs shouldn’t be put off until the finances allow it. The reason they shouldn’t be put off is that, when left to continue along their faulty path, they can worsen and do so fast. To put it into simple terms, when left alone, a hundred dollar job can quickly become a thousand dollar one. Gulp.
So, without further ado, here is a list of home repairs you shouldn’t dilly-dally about on. Now go, go, go.
1. The Bigger Things (Not For DIYers)
It doesn’t matter what sort of leak you are faced with - big, small, sporadic, frequent, constant - every type of leak has the potential to cause big problems in your home. This is because water has unrivaled ability to find a way out of a space no matter what. That means even the smallest of leaks can create a massive problem for you financially, and we’re talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of problems. That is why you need to jump on to these the very second they arise and then learn how to keep them running smoothly from this day forward so that you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong in the future. If you are a capable DIYer, then you are probably going to be able to deal with a loose faucet or a leaky water heater and maybe even the installation of a new toilet. However, anything that requires modifying the plumbing system needs to be left to professionals like Universal Plumbing and Sewer. It isn’t so much about the dangers - which is a concern with anything electrical - it is about the fact problems can get out of hand pretty fast. Plumbing can mean hot water and hot water means copper piping and copper piping means blow-torching. Stay away from that. Please.
We mentioned it above and we’re going to delve into it now. Anything that has an electrical current running through it should never be attempted on your own. Ever. Under no circumstances. Period. Sure, you may be able to change a light bulb or change a switch - so long as the power has been turned off first - but anything that goes beyond this needs to be dealt with by an experienced professional. There is just so much that requires the experienced eye and mind of a super-duper electrician. The reason being, some work is too dangerous and other work could require you to get a permit to carry out. There are some tasks that, if done wrong, could see your home go up in flames and come down ashes. There are building codes that need to be adhered to. They may not sound important to you now but, trust us, you could struggle to sell your home in the future. Not good.
Thanks to gravity, nothing can lead to big problems quite as much as a leaky roof. That’s because a single leak can lead to structural damage, mold, the destruction of personal items, electrical problems and just about everything else you can think of. The reason this is considered a big thing is that it shouldn’t be done by yourself. You may be looking up at your roof and thinking, “meh, it’s just one shingle that needs replacing,” but it isn’t worth risking on your own for the simple fact if you fall off it is going to seriously hurt. One slip and that could be it. That is why we recommend you use a certified professional like WeFix Indy. That way you can rest assured that no one will get hurt. What’s more, you will be able to get a detailed diagnosis of just what needs doing. You may think it is just a shingle that is missing, but it requires a more significant roofing job due to a sagging roof, a tear below the shingles or even wind damage. Like we said, even the slightest damage on a roof could lead to huge problems so it is worth making sure it isn’t a job half done.
2. The Smaller Stuff (For DIYers)
Recaulking The Obvious Places
The good news is, it doesn’t cost much to buy yourself some decent caulk. The bad news is, it is an extremely important job to keep on top of because it keeps water from getting into places it shouldn’t be in. Your first step should be to inspect your home. Start with the obvious places like your shower basin, your bathtub, your windows and your doors. These are where leaks are most prone to be. Then get to re-caulking them, and make sure you do this on a regular basis too. In case you skipped over the above points (about the bigger things), water damage can really be bad. It can take a small issue and turn it into a really expensive problem. It is one of the worst out there.
Cleaning Out Your Dryer Vent
We have absolutely no doubt that you clear out your dryer’s lint catcher on a regular basis (if you don’t, then you really should). But try and think back to when you last cleared out your dryer vent? If it wasn’t in the past twelve months then you need to call up work and tell them that you won’t be in today. Because the buildup of lint in the dryer vent happens so slowly and gradually, most people don’t realize that this is the cause of their dryers ineffectiveness. They just put it down to age. But it isn’t just about making your dryer that much more effective and efficient, it is also about protecting you, your loved ones and your home from a house fire. That is the risk you run by not dealing with any build up of lint.
Changing Your HVAC Filter
It only costs a few dollars to buy a new filter for your HVAC system, and nothing for you to change it yourself. What’s more, you only need to do this once a month, maybe twice if you really want to stay on top of it. So, for six bucks a month, you could be saving yourself a small fortune a year. That is because dirty filters make HVAC units work so much harder to do their job, which not only means your utility bills will start going through the roof but also the life of your HVAC unit will be cut drastically short. Combine these two expensive concerns and you could see thousands of dollars come out of your account unnecessarily. $70 a year or thousands? It is up to you.
Problem Of Peeling Paint
If there is one thing we love about a fresh lick of paint (apart from the smell) it is the way it makes a house look so much nicer. It really does. That is why every interior design blog you ever read will urge you toward painting your space. The impact is just awesome. However, there is another purpose that painted walls play - a more important role - and that is to protect your home from damp and dry-rot. So, if the paint in or on your home is starting to peel away, then it could be time for you to get the scraper out, scrape away the old flaking paint and then slap on a new coat. However, please don’t do this is your house was built before 1980. This is because they used lead based paint back then, which isn’t exactly good for you. As such, call in a professional to test your home and make sure. If it is lead-based, then have them deal with it. If it isn’t, then enjoy a little bit of therapeutic painting.
As you can see, not all repair jobs were born equal and that means you should only take on those smaller jobs you feel confident at taking on. Yes, it may seem like more cost-effective to do all DIY jobs yourself but that is a very short-sighted judgment call. A couple of hundred dollars to call out a professional now is a lot better value than spending a thousand bucks on a professional later on. And if you still don’t believe us, then just ask any DIY enthusiast about the joys of doing everything themselves and their history lesson will likely come with the caveat in the shape of a few horror stories.