These Home Repairs Are Just Too Risky to Put Off

Written by Monica Miller

Nobody’s perfect. At some point, every homeowner gets busy and lets their home maintenance, cleaning, and repairs fall to the wayside. It’s just too tempting to push that project out to next weekend—and then the weekend after that. Luckily, on the whole, our homes are pretty forgiving of these delays: nothing bad is going to happen if you procrastinate on painting your walls, for instance. 

However, there are a few categories of home repairs where this is not the case. These projects need to be treated as urgent priorities, as they are far too risky to put off. In this article, we’ll review what they are and what makes any delay problematic.

Don’t procrastinate on your plumbing problems

There are few things that should spur a homeowner to action more than a leak. There’s no pretending that a water leak doesn’t exist, or will fix itself. It’s there and it needs to be dealt with—as soon as possible. If you notice a water leak or signs of water damage in your home, you need to call in a plumbing professional right away. Many plumbers offer emergency, around-the-clock service. If you’re noticing water damage, but can’t see the leak itself, ask your plumber if they offer professional leak detection service. Some plumbers have advanced acoustic equipment that helps them pinpoint the origin point of leaks.

Not every plumbing problem is going to feel as urgent as a leak. For example, if your home’s pipes have frozen, you might be tempted to roll the dice and just “wait” for them to naturally defrost as your home warms back up. Generally, this is not a good idea. As pipes freeze, the water expands into ice, putting immense pressure on the pipe walls. Like a soda can left in the freezer, it’s only a matter of time before they “pop.” A pipe burst can end up flooding your home. Bringing in a plumber right away to thaw your pipes is the right, safe call.

Address roofing problems right away

It’s all too easy to let roofing issues stew for days, weeks, and even months. After all, unless you’re pulling up to the driveway or walking outside, you’re probably not looking at—or thinking about—your roof too frequently. However, today’s roofing damage can easily turn into tomorrow’s disaster. Missing shingles, damaged flashing, or obstructed gutters can all allow moisture from rain and snow to get through the protective shield. From there, it’s only a matter of time before you have a roof leak.

This doesn’t mean you have to climb up on your roof every weekend. In fact, safety experts recommend against that! Instead, just take a walk around the perimeter of your home every so often and look at the roof from the ground. What is the state of the gutters? Are there any missing shingles, or patches of damage? Are any tree branches hanging over the roof that might scrape against it during a storm? If you do notice any problems, that’s your cue to call in a professional roofer for a closer (and more detailed!) inspection.

Act fast when faced with electrical issues

Resetting a circuit breaker should be something you only have to do now and then. If it’s becoming a regular chore, it means you’re overloading that circuit. If the breakers malfunction, this could lead to electrical damage or even start a home fire. 

In general, any electrical issues you notice need to be dealt with immediately by a licensed, certified electrician in your area. Electricity is not to be trifled with: improper or damaged wiring could be a danger to everyone and everything in your home.

Be a decisive homeowner

It’s unrealistic for any homeowner to be a perfect steward of their home. There’s going to be weekends where the landscaping gets skipped, or months where you stretch that window cleaning project out farther than you probably should. But, it’s important to know where the line is between home maintenance and repairs you can wait on, and those you cannot. 

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