It feels great fixing a problem in your home yourself. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of complex issues that cannot be solved by the keen handywoman or handyman around the house. Sometimes, it is best to cut your losses and call in a trained professional. Here are four areas in which you might want to defer a job to an experienced pro.
While some plumbing is accessible to the ambitious DIY homeowner, a great deal of plumbing requires professional training and specialist equipment. Sewage leaks, boiler problems, water hammer and pressure dropouts all need a trained eye and a steady hand to fix. Anything to do with water heating should be dealt with by a professional plumber. Gas leaks should also not be fixed by an untrained person. Gas plumbing has to be installed correctly for safety reasons - that should be relatively obvious.
Modern home electrics are very reliable, and don’t usually require professional intervention. There are some circumstances, however, when you need to call up your local 24/7 emergency electrician. If you notice new loud noises being made by your appliances, isolated blackouts or unusually pale sparks coming out of your outlets then you are going to need some professional help.
It is also a very good idea to call in an electrician after any kind of flood. Water damage can cause short circuiting. This can lead to electrical fires – a major cause of house fire.
If you live in an old house, you will know that it is perfectly normal for it to wobble and bend slightly as you move about. If you notice any changes to the way your house moves, or notice any beams sagging or cracking then you need to call an emergency structural surveyor or engineer. Structural changes can occur due to problems like woodworm, damage caused by heavy rain and snow or a sudden increase in occupancy. A professional structural engineer can determine the structural durability and strength of a structure. If they determine that the house is unsafe then they will advise you on your next steps. Be warned – structural work is very expensive.
Human beings have cohabited with animals for thousands of years. Animals like mice have a symbiotic relationship with humans. If they are present in small numbers, it is very unlikely that you will notice them. Some pests, however, are a real health threat. Rats can procreate at an alarming rate, and can’t usually be removed using simple traps. They are remarkably intelligent, and can carry a number of unpleasant diseases – usually secondhand in the form of parasite-borne viruses.
It is very hard to get rid of a large rat colony on your own. Professional pest control companies employ a multi-pronged strategy for ridding your home of rodents. Many companies also offer humane pest control – allowing you to remove the animals without killing them. An increase in rats within a home can also indicate a sewage leak or a waste disposal problem. Rats are drawn to enclosed spaces and human waste.