There’s something very satisfying in tackling home maintenance and repair work by yourself. Aside from the money saved, there’s the good feeling you get from working hands-on with your home, getting to know its ins and outs, and learning from projects along the way.
But there are jobs around the house which can be more trouble than they’re worth. Some tasks are just plain hazardous. While you may feel able to handle these projects yourself, try to be honest about weighing the benefits against the possible high costs of a hospital stay or serious (maybe even fatal) injury. Here are the top most dangerous home maintenance tasks:
1. Chainsaw & heavy tree work: Every year tens of thousands of people suffer chainsaw injuries. Even those who are familiar with their saws find themselves victims of sudden kick-backs, debris injuries, and even burns. Heavy tree work in general is a no-no for homeowners who are safety conscious. Professionals know what it takes to remove trees and how to trim them and bring them down safely.
2. Roofing and gutter cleaning: Ladder work is hazardous work. If you’re up on your roof nailing in shingles, the likelihood that a tumble off the edge will be a disaster is high. One slip can put you out of commission for a long time, or even leave you paralyzed.
3. Gas and electrical line repair: A leaking gas line is a 9-1-1 emergency. Repairing them yourself, even if you think you have a handle on the problem can result in the accidental asphyxiation of yourself or loved ones. A similar situation goes for electrical work. Is it worth risking a fire or electrocution? Shell out for your safety!
4. Wall demolition: Are you sure that wall you want to take out isn’t a load-bearing wall? If it isn’t you could find yourself in a collapse.
5. Asbestos and mold abatement: Hazardous materials can create lifelong health issues when removed improperly. Containment is key in these jobs, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could release a chronic contaminant in your home.
6. Pest control with poison: Most people fail to realize all the other ways poisons destined for pests can find their way into food, water, and the mouths of children. Don’t risk it!
Repairing your home can be a pleasure, but be sensible about how you do it. After all, you want to be around to enjoy it!
Keith Hittner Sr