As we spend more and more time at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19, our heating and plumbing systems will inevitably feel the strain. 

Blocked drains pose a specific problem, according to the experts at property maintenance company Aspect.co.uk 

Thankfully, many plumbing problems can be fixed with some basic tools and knowledge. Others, however, require help from a professional tradesperson. 

Because plumbers and heating engineers are classed as key workers, most will respond to emergencies, regardless of the current risk. 

Top 5 DIY Nightmares You Might Face During Lockdown 

Damp and Mould. If you notice mould or fungus growing on walls or ceilings, a musty smell, condensation or peeling wallpaper, you’re probably suffering from damp or mould. As well as being bad for your health, it can contribute to structural problems if left unchecked. Fortunately, basic lifestyle changes can be enough to manage it. Simply opening your windows and drying your laundry outside can make a world of difference. For more severe problems like mould caused by rising damp or a plumbing leak, contact your local tradesperson as soon as possible. 

Boiler Service Expired. If your boiler or gas appliance is due a service, you may be able to arrange this with a local heating engineer. Just be sure to stick to social distancing guidelines and remain in a separate room while it takes place. Install a carbon monoxide detector in each room containing a gas-burning appliance. Make sure it is located within three meters of it and not installed above windows, doors or sinks. Test your detector regularly and be aware of carbon monoxide symptoms. These include headaches, dizziness and nausea, amongst others. 

Hidden Hazards. Your household probably contains products featuring hazardous ingredients you might not be aware of. Items like paint, paint thinner and varnish all contain a small number of toxic chemicals which can be dangerous to human health. If you own items like these, store them away from children and dispose of them safely when no longer needed. Do not simply pour down the drain or throw in domestic trash. They can harm soil and water quality, amongst other types of environmental damage. 

Blocked Sink. If your sink is slow to drain or doesn’t drain at all, it is probably blocked. There are lots of ways to deal with this problem yourself. You could try a gas-based drain unblocker which generates turbulence and clears the drain. For more severe blockages, a plunger might be more appropriate. You may even need to use a chemical drain cleaner, but use goggles and gloves as they can release harmful gases. Other reasons for blockages include blocked traps or waste pipes. Although the latter can be tackled yourself with an auger, you may need help from a professional drainage expert. 

Expensive Energy Bills. If you’re worried about your heating bills spiralling out of control during the lockdown, there are lots of things you can do yourself to help lower them. Turn down your thermostat, change your old light bulbs to energy-efficient versions, wrap your hot water tank in a jacket and seal draughts around floors and skirting boards. After lockdown, you may consider larger tasks. These include things like replacing old wooden windows with double glazed uPVC units, replacing your boiler or having insulation installed in your loft. 

With the Right Tools and Knowhow, Keep Your Home in Order During Lockdown 

If you encounter issues with your home during the lockdown, the good news is that many problems can be dealt with yourself. All you need is some basic DIY tools and knowledge. 

For the more problematic tasks, you’ll need to contact a local tradesperson. But only do this if it is an emergency. 

Non-essential repairs aren’t important right now, so stay at home and keep yourself safe.

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