There are several projects you can do on your own home to make it be a more comfortable or efficient place in which to live. But there are a few projects that, without the right tools and training, can put you at risk of physical injury, or worse.
Here is a rundown of some of the projects for which you should call in the professionals. Don't risk getting hurt trying to save a little time or money:
Garage Door Repair
Go into your garage and look up toward the ceiling. You should see two coiled springs running near the ceiling perpendicular to the garage door opening. These are high-tension springs that are responsible for you being able to open a door that can weigh more than a hundred pounds. The springs act as a counterbalance to offset the weight of the door so you can lift it manually, or an electric garage door opener with a small motor can open and close the door.
These springs are under such tension that if they break, or one of the braided metal cables or metal brackets break, the spring can slam into a car or garage wall causing serious damage. Repairing the garage door components requires a knowledge of how to work around these springs safely.
Garage door repair companies know all of the designs of garage door opening systems and how to stay safe when maintaining each type.
Water Heater Repair
Your water heater looks safe enough. It just sits there and doesn't appear to have any moving parts. Look on the top or side of the water heater for a small metal pipe with a valve on the end. This is a high-pressure release valve. If you're familiar with a pressure cooker, then you know that when pressure builds up inside, steam is released from the valve on the lid. Your water heater is just a big version of that with water heating up in a large steel tank, building up pressure.
One way your water heater can fail is when the thermostat stops working and the water heats up too high in the tank. This increases pressure in the tank and can trigger the pressure relief valve to open and release the excess pressure.
If the valve sticks or is rusted shut, the pressure can rupture the water heater tank. Water heater repair technicians know how to maintain the system to minimize the chance of this happening. They will check, clean and test the pressure valve, and check that the thermostat is working safely.
Roof Shingle Repair
Looking up at your roof from your driveway, replacing a couple of shingles and hammering down a few loose nails looks like a simple job. It can be if you have the safety equipment used by a licensed roofing company. Even the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 40 residential roofers are killed each year by falling from roofs. So it's even dangerous for professionals.
On wet days, roofs can be slippery, especially wood roofs that may have moss growing in the spaces between the shingles. On hot days, asphalt roofs soften and you can slip on them. Just getting onto and off of a roof can be challenging. Add to that the need to carry tools and materials up to the roof with you. This is another home repair job that should given to the professionals who have safety harnesses, non-slip shoes and cranes and hoists with which to get supplies on to the roof.
Continue working on the variety of home repair and remodeling projects that come up. But when one of these life-threatening maintenance tasks needs to be done, pass it on to the professionals and let them take the risks.