Quick Guide: Can You Repair Home or Business Damage on Your Own?
Damage restoration and repair can be expensive. Unexpected issues are particularly common in the Midwest, where the weather changes on a dime. It’s perfectly reasonable to wonder if you might be able to DIY your way through your latest home or business problem!
The truth is that some damage can be fixed quickly with the right tools and attitude — while other issues require the experienced eye of a restoration professional. How do you know which is which?
Here’s our quick guide to whether you might be able to repair common problems on your own or should call in a professional right away.
Indoor air pollution is a real threat: According to the EPA, the air inside your home or business is generally 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. On average, we spend about 90% of our time indoors!
You should have your air ducts cleaned every three to five years at minimum. Depending on your building’s size, location, and usage, you might need more frequent sweeps.
Can you clean your ducts on your own?
The short answer is yes — but you probably don’t want to.
As long as you’re doing it at regular intervals, duct cleaning is a pretty low risk job when it comes to your long-term health. With that said, it requires special tools — and not everyone enjoys getting covered in grime!
It might be in your best interest to pass this dirty work off to a professional.
Your carpet is probably dirtier than you think. Dust, dead skin cells, and other debris regularly fall onto our floors — and when we walk on them, we grind those allergens and bacteria further into the fibers.
Can you clean your carpets by yourself?
You can! Many services will rent out high-powered cleaners for you to use at your own convenience. This is particularly adequate for low-traffic areas.
We do recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned every couple of years. A trained crew will be able to promise a thorough job (and catch any other potential issues while they’re at it).
Frozen and burst pipes
Frozen pipes can wreak havoc on your home or business. When water freezes, it expands — and this can cause both plastic and metal pipes to burst open. That’s a recipe for flooding, mold, and structural damage.
Can you take care of a frozen pipe on your own?
If you suspect a pipe is frozen but hasn’t yet burst, you can attempt to thaw it yourself. Here’s how:
- Keep the faucet running as you identify what section of the pipe is frozen
- Apply heat slowly with a heating pad, hair dryer, or space heater
- Double-check with a professional once water pressure returns to normal
If your pipe has burst, shut off any running faucets and call a professional immediately. These leaks can spread quickly, and the earlier a trained crew arrives on the scene, the better your odds of avoiding long-term damage!
Roof ice dams
Ice dams are ridges of ice that can form on the edge of your roof after a heavy snow, hail, or sleet storm. As the snow at the top of your roof melts, it runs to the bottom where more snow and ice block it from draining off.
Can you fix an ice dam by yourself?
We do not recommend trying to remove an ice dam from your roof on your own. It’s simply too dangerous, especially considering the frigid, slippery conditions of a Midwest winter.
If you discover that an ice dam has built up on top of your home or business, call a professional immediately to prevent leaks and future complications.
Missing or damaged roof shingles
It’s not uncommon for homes and businesses to lose a few roof shingles when severe storms blow through. Depending on the severity of the damage, this can put your building at an increased risk of water damage and structural problems.
Can you repair your roof on your own?
In years past, many roofs were formed of simple shingles that weren’t particularly difficult to replace. Nowadays, though, it’s far more likely that your home or business requires a professional inspection.
What’s more — many insurance companies won’t pay your full storm damage claim unless you demonstrate that you used a qualified contractor. For this reason, we recommend calling in an expert for roof repairs!
When debris builds up in your gutters and downspouts, it prevents water from properly draining off of your roof. This makes you more susceptible to leaks and even structural damage from water pooling!
Can you clean your gutters on your own?
You absolutely can!
If you’re nervous about getting up on a ladder or don’t have anyone to spot you, a professional restoration company will be happy to help you get the job done. But if you’re staying on top of your gutter cleaning at regular intervals — usually at least twice a year — you shouldn’t experience any complications from doing it yourself.
Remember: there is always risk when doing things yourself
An important note: Any time you opt to handle home or business damage on your own, you run the risk of making the problem worse — or failing to address it completely before it spreads. When in doubt, always ask for a professional opinion!
The security of knowing your issue is completely resolved — and that you won’t have to experience long-term complications — is well worth the extra price tag.
If you have any questions about something you noticed in your home or business, we’d be happy to help. Give us a call!
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