Owning a home can be very expensive, driving many savvy homeowners to learn to do minor maintenance and repair work themselves. But some projects require a skill level way beyond what you can acquire from a YouTube video or online tutorial. They can even be downright dangerous with deadly consequences if not done properly. For this reason, it's important to always hire or consult with a professional before starting the work yourself. Read on to see which potentially hazardous repair and maintenance tasks are best left to the professionals. --Cody Calamaio, BobVila.com
1. Gas Line Repair
Natural gas is clear, odorless (unless it's been injected with odorants), and one of the deadliest elements used in your home. Improperly installed or leaking gas lines can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can kill you in your sleep or even cause an explosion. Stay safe by regularly testing your carbon monoxide detector. At the first sign of a leak, call the gas company or dial 911 immediately.
2. Electrical Wiring
Improperly installed wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires, which kill hundreds of people every year. Protect your family by ensuring that all electrical installation and repair is done by a professional who has received the correct training.
3. Roofing Work
As tempting as it may be to save money on this expensive project, doing your own roofing puts you in serious danger of taking a fatal tumble off the edge of the roof, or falling down the ladder while ferrying materials up and down.
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4. Wall Removal
Sure, swinging a sledgehammer is a ton of fun, but before you knock down an interior wall, it is crucial to make sure it is not load bearing. If you tear down a load-bearing wall, your home may become structurally unsound and could even collapse. Always consult with a professional to determine which walls you can remove yourself.
5. Large Tree Work
Decaying trees can be a serious hazard, but it's dangerous to prune or remove them without a pro. First of all, you could fall out of a tall tree. As well, if you don't trim branches the right way, they may fall and harm people passing below. Finally, if you're not sure what you're doing, you could fell a tree in the wrong direction and drop it right onto your (or your neighbor's) house!
6. Asbestos Removal
Commonly used to insulate older homes, asbestos can be deadly if inhaled, which is why it is crucial to call a professional who is geared to remove it. There are also laws that govern proper disposal of the toxic material. A specialist will know how to get rid of it properly without causing harm to people or the environment.
7. Pest Extermination
No one wants rats or roaches cozying up indoors, but it's risky to just start spreading poisons, which can kill children and pets as well as pests. Talk to a professional exterminator first, who can determine how the intruders are getting into your home and help you find the safest way to get rid of them.
For more from BobVila.com:
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