Tackling home renovations is not something to be taken lightly. Here we look at the most dangerous DIY jobs and why they shouldn’t be attempted by novices.
Since lockdown started, many homeowners have tried their hand at odd jobs with the help of internet tutorials and how-to guides. However, finding reference material that exactly matches the job you are undertaking is very hit and miss and the information you are missing could be very costly to you. To avoid horror stories of half destroyed walls, inhaling toxic fumes and electric sparks flying, help should be sought when dealing with demolitions, electrical work and asbestos.
We spoke to LeaseVan.co.uk, who work closely with tradespeople, and have identified the dangerous DIY jobs around the home that should be treated with caution:
Handy people will be well within their capability to change a shower head or fix a leaking faucet, however, they should take a step back if it involves any more graft. While it isn’t particularly dangerous work, plumbing problems can get out of hand fast because where there is a way out, water will find it. Call a professional when pipes need modifying, sewer pipes need re-directing or baths need fitting to avoid floods and the damage that comes with them.
The naturally occurring mineral was used for years to insulate and fireproof homes. However, it was found to be toxic in the 1980s and its use is now extremely limited. When it is left alone, asbestos is not an immediate danger. But DIYers with older homes are advised to never attempt to remove it themselves, as it poses a risk to everyone around them when broken or deteriorated. Instead, hire a professional that can safely remove it from the home and dispose of it, as it is classed in law as hazardous waste.
Inside walls are risky to demolish, as homeowners never know what is hiding behind them – unless they built it themselves. Call on a structural engineer for advice before deciding on knocking down anything internally. Several things need to be considered, for example the possibility of electrical wiring or plumbing pipes running through the wall. In some scenarios, the wall may be loadbearing, meaning it supports upper levels of your house and stops the whole building from becoming structurally unsound.
Whilst roof maintenance and repairs might be seemingly straight forward, it isn’t recommended as a do-it-yourself job. This is because of how physically challenging and draining it is climbing ladders and balancing at height. Not to mention how easy it could be to fall due to a lapse in concentration. Aside from the threat of serious injury, roofing work also requires experience. It is best to hire a professional to remove risk and the threat of a leaky roof.
Like water, gas will always find a place to leak if possible. Even the simplest maintenance job to an oven or pipe carrying gas could lead to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. It is best practice in the event of any kind of gas leak to shut off incoming gas source, blow out any live flames and call the 24-hour Gas Emergency Services line (0800 111 999). The best thing to do whilst waiting for a professional is open any doors and windows to allow the gas to escape.
Electricity is usually the last thing a person can see or smell, but the first thing they can feel when something goes wrong. Any project that requires dealing with electricity should be handled with care and all power should be turned off, even when changing a light fitting. Live wires can cause a lot of danger and harm when touched by people who do not know what they are doing. Jobs that are absolutely off limits include changing power-points, installing downlights, replacing a meter or attempting to rewire anything around the home.
If you found Dangerous DIY jobs that shouldn’t be attempted by novices helpful, you’ll find more home improvement tips and advice on our Home and Lifestyle channel.Tags: Asbestos, DIY, Electrical work, plumbing, Roofing Last modified: January 25, 2022