Although home repair projects can be an exciting opportunity to improve your house, it’s easy to procrastinate. However, there are some repairs that simply can’t wait. When the structure of your home or the safety of those living inside is in jeopardy, it’s critical to take action fast. If your home needs any of these eight repairs, it’s time to get to work.
1. Damaged Tiling
Loose tiles, missing grout, and loose mortar can be extremely dangerous, resulting in tripping hazards and leaving your floors and walls vulnerable to moisture damage. One damaged tile can impact the remaining tiles, so it is crucial you act fast to repair any issues. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to repair tiled floors and walls yourself. With the right tile tools, including a rubber grout float, a high-quality tile saw, hammer, chisel, and notched and V-shaped trowels, you can quickly and easily remove and replace the damaged tiles.
2. Gas Leaks
Gas leaks in your home are considered an emergency and require immediate attention. Although natural gas is typically safe to use in your home for cooking or heating, it can emit a hazardous byproduct called carbon monoxide. This occurs when the gas doesn’t burn completely due to ventilation problems or faulty installation. It’s most common for gas leaks to occur where pipes join together, such as at shut-off valves, regulators, or flexible supply lines. It’s also possible for roofing nails to puncture a steel gas line following roof installation. Call a plumber immediately if you smell natural gas (a sulphuric scent like rotten eggs) and suspect a leak.
3. Broken Windows and Doors
Broken doors and windows are a security risk and prevent you from regulating the temperature in your home. If the issue is with glass panes in your windows or doors, you can replace the glass easily yourself. Simply order a new windowpane cut to fit the aperture, remove the broken glass, and seal the new pane in place. You may also be able to repair small areas of rotted wood with a sealant putty and replace weather stripping to fix a drafty opening. However, if the damage is to the frame or locks, you may need to call a professional contractor or locksmith.
4. Blocked Plumbing
Plumbing problems may start as simple inconveniences, but they can result in more serious issues if left unchecked. Clogged sink and shower drains are a common household occurrence that is easy to ignore in the short term. However, a poorly draining sink or shower can lead to unpleasant odors, mildew, or even mold growth over time. Typically, unclogging a drain requires snaking, which can be performed by you or a plumber to remove debris like dirt buildup and hair.
Low water pressure can also indicate you have blocked plumbing. While many homes naturally have low pressure, anything under 30 psi is considered problematic. A blocked or leaking pipe can result in sudden drops in your water pressure, potentially damaging your home and running up your utility bills. If you notice drastic changes in how your home’s water supply is running or draining, it’s best to call a plumber as soon as possible to prevent more severe damage to your property.
5. Water Leaks
Leaking appliances or plumbing must be repaired immediately. Water leaks can cause long-term moisture damage to your home’s structure and foundation and contribute to electrical problems. They also significantly increase your water bills. Often repairing water leaks is as simple as changing the faucet or switching out plastic piping and sealing gaps with epoxy. However, for underground plumbing leaks, you’ll need to call professionals.
Underground leaks are more challenging to detect than interior leaks. Some signs of a burst mains line or garden pipe include a persistently muddy yard and large puddles without significant rainfall. A professional can use a smart leak detector to determine the exact source of the leak to avoid digging up your entire yard.
6. Broken Water Heater
Several signs suggest you may need a new water heater or your existing water heater requires repairs. Dirty or rusty water, a lack of hot water, and odd noises coming from the tank while it’s on are all indicators there’s a problem with your water heater. If your water heater breaks, call your plumber immediately and then take action to mitigate potential damage.
For a gas water heater, slowly turn the dial located on the thermostat to shut it off. If your water heater is electric, flip the switch at the circuit breaker. Next, turn off the main water supply to the tank or the main water supply to your home. Then, attach a hose to the bottom drain valve on the tank and run it to a drain in your basement or outside, away from your home’s foundation. If your busted water heater causes your basement or attic to flood, you’ll need to take additional measures to prevent mold growth in the baseboards.
7. Deteriorated Brick Stairs and Walkways
Brick and mortar are porous materials that can absorb moisture, especially when regularly exposed to the elements. Brick walkways or exterior staircases on your property may present safety hazards if the mortar loses its adhesive qualities and begins to crumble. Less serious problems can be as simple as a single brick coming loose, creating a tripping hazard.
To keep yourself and guests visiting your home safe, you should promptly address any deterioration of exterior walkways and steps. It’s possible to purchase a bag of mortar and re-lay a few loose bricks yourself to ensure they’re level and secure. However, for more significant issues that require complete reconstruction of a walkway or staircase, it’s often best to call in a professional to ensure your design is up to code.
8. Mold Infestation
Mold growth occurs when moisture becomes trapped in your home due to poor ventilation. Mold can have serious adverse effects on your health, causing respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritation. Mold is more likely to occur in damp areas of your home like the laundry room, bathrooms, and kitchens. But it can also grow in areas below ground level like basements and crawl spaces. Small areas of mold can be removed using an anti-fungal spray, but larger infestations may need professional removal using a high-pressure steam spray and mold treatment.
Because mold spreads via airborne spores, it often grows back, and the infestation worsens if you don’t take preventative measures. To prevent mold, you must reduce the humidity levels in your home. Use a dehumidifier, dry off damp rooms within 24 hours, and fix any leaks to keep your home’s humidity levels below 60%. You can call a professional HVAC contractor to audit your air conditioning system to ensure it is removing the humidity properly.
Keep Your Home Healthy and Safe
Waiting to make repairs on your home can cause minor issues to become more serious and cost you more money over the long term. Fixing damage to your plumbing, tiles, doors, and windows immediately means you can often make the repairs yourself rather than calling a contractor.