5 DIY Mistakes You're Making That Will Endanger You and Devalue Your Home

Being handy around the house is a great asset for any homeowner; you can change your AC filters, lubricate and clean your garage doors, clean out gutters and other important around-the-house duties. However, there are things you cannot do without professional assistance if you're going to maintain your house in tip-top shape, especially if you're looking to resell later on. Read on to find out more:

1. Removing asbestos

Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were used on roofs, walls and flooring of older houses before it was banned in the 1980s for health reasons. The ban prevents newer homes from being constructed using these materials, but older homes were not required to immediately remove it. If you have an old home, therefore, major repair work on sidings, roofs, flooring and walls should be done after asbestos testing by professionals. If your home is found to have ACMs, the project must be handled professionally.

2. Handling your own plumbing or electrics

Plumbing and electrics are one of the home-repair tasks that should only be done by a professional. Sure, you can do minor tasks like unclog a blocked drain, switch fuses and lightbulbs and maybe change a broken tap, but it's best to leave the rest to pros. It isn't so much that you cannot do it; plumbing and electrical systems are very sensitive and are hence governed by a strict safety code. This is why any changes to your plumbing system should be inspected and approved by the local council before you start. As an untrained person, you aren't aware of these regulations and may end up putting your family at risk, let alone reducing the value of your house.

3. Tearing down walls

In a house, there are some walls which bear more weight than others. Depending on the plans of your home, a professional contractor can advise you on which walls are safe to remove if you want to remodel your place. Tearing down a load-bearing wall could significantly affect the stability of the home, and put your family at risk. In addition, your electrical or plumbing system may be connected underneath. The resulting damage may not be reversible, or it may cost a lot more to fix without affecting the value of the home.

4. Repairing garage door springs

There are many garage door maintenance tasks that you can handle on your own. These include removal of dirt, lubrication of moving parts and paint jobs, among others. However, anything related to the spring system should be handled professionally.

The torsion and extension springs work in tandem to counter the weight of the garage door, allowing the opener to lift it. Because of all the tension they contain, trying to remove/repair them without knowing which precautions to take can put you at risk of fatal injury. In addition, there are too many small considerations to be made: the new springs must be the exact size as the old ones, you should replace both springs to sustain balance etc. Just leave this one to a professional.

Next time you're looking over your home maintenance checklist, put these items on hold until you can work with a professional!