Thinking about repairs and maintenance isn’t the most exciting thing in the world and many of us prefer to let things tick along without taking action on the basis that things might not go wrong in our homes, even if we know that there may be a potential problem out there. But, the fact is that taking good care of your home and garden is vital. This way you can prevent problems happening in the first place. And, the chances are, if you leave a small problem unfixed then it could end up costing you a lot more money in the long run.
Some household problems do come from nowhere but a surprising number come with some form of warning that action needs to be taken. So, your aim here should be to fix small problems to stop them getting worse. So, for example, a dripping tap may not seem like a big deal but you’ll be wasting water and your own money if it’s a hot tap. And, this could lead to something more serious: a flood for example, when a drip tuns into a torrent and the sink overflows. In cold weather, an uninsulated exterior pipe may freeze. Frozen pipes will often burst which could lead to flooding and electrical damage if the water finds its way indoors.
Some of the most serious household problems come with plumbing problems, clogged up drains, frozen/leaking pipes, boiler breakdowns and blocked toilets. So, for example, if you have an outside drain or guttering that gets clogged up with leaves then clear it out. If you leave it and the water cannot drain away then it may seep into the wall and cause a damp problem. Again, this will cost vastly more to repair than the few minutes it would have taken to clear the leaves away in the first place.
Avoiding these problems really is simply a case of keeping an eye out for potential problems and changes in most cases. So, make sure to check your drains, guttering, taps and pipes regularly and keep an eye on other systems in and around your home. Also make sure that you have your boiler serviced regularly.
In some cases, however, something will go wrong without warning and you’ll have a major catastrophe on your hands. The key thing here is not to panic and to act as quickly as you can to sort the problem out. If your problem is water based then turn the system off at the mains. If it relates to other utilities such as gas and electricity then follow the emergency instructions from your provider. Ensure that everyone in the home knows how to switch off the relevant supply.
If you do have some kind of household catastrophe then you will probably need the help of a professional handyman. The best way to find the right help here is to use people who are professionally qualified, fully insured and registered with any relevant trade bodies or associations. Or, talk to your friends and neighbours and ask for recommendations of good tradespeople that they have used in the past. In any event, try not to let a problem turn into a catastrophe into the first place. This could leave you out of pocket and inconvenienced as not all insurance policies will cover all eventualities — particularly if you were at fault in the first place. Another good tip here is to make sure that you compare house insurance policies before you take one out to make sure you get the right kind of emergency cover.