While having your own home is both liberating and gratifying, one thing we all know, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, is that home maintenance issues can make you regret ever deciding to live on your own. If you’ve ever been in a bind with maintenance issues and felt the desire to retreat back to your parent’s cozy, functioning haven- you’re not alone. We’ve all been there; it’s one of those fun obstacles life likes to throw at us to keep us on our toes. Here are nine instances where home maintenance issues made us wish we hadn’t adulted that day:
1. The broken HVAC unit in Summer
Particularly in Florida, our condolences go out to anyone who has ever experienced this. No amount of ice packs and oscillating fans can combat the smoldering heat. HVAC systems are certainly not something you want to read a “For Dummies” article on and wing it. This is one area where it’s best to bring in the professionals – even if your dad claims to be a connoisseur of all things handyman related.
2. The broken HVAC unit in Winter
Bundle up- it’s going to be a cold one. If you’ve never personally experienced this on a chilly winter day, here’s the scenario: layers and layers of blankets unravel as you make your way out of your cocoon, your teeth begin chattering, your fingers and toes are numb, and you realize that the frozen sting of the tile floor isn’t worth going anywhere/doing anything that day. Once again, HVAC units usually require professional help. It’s best to choose a company with a good reputation and lots of experience in order to prevent your warm and cozy home from turning into an arctic tundra again.
3. The backed up toilet
Because I’m sure your ideal plan for the day was obviously an hour-long phone conversation with your dad explaining, “the flappy thing in the tank is disconnected from the chain…” while simultaneously attempting to plunge your toilet back to life. While toilet issues can be (quite literally) a pain in the you-know-what, they are often minor and easy enough to fix yourself. Brushing up on easy toilet repairs and knowing when it’s time to bring out the plunger vs. when it’s time to call the plumber are key to avoiding a bathroom nightmare.
4. The washer/dryer that eats your clothes
Nothing says, “I need attention, fix me!” like destroying your favorite t-shirt. Washer/dryers can be the brattiest of all appliances. They handle some of your most precious cargo, and are unfortunately too stubborn to provide a heartfelt apology after they’ve completely ruined it. You can try to locate the problem yourself by looking for disconnected or broken pieces, and even take other safety measures to protect your clothes like placing them in a mesh bag during a cycle. If the problem persists, however, this is another case where professionals know best – especially if you want to salvage your wardrobe.
5. The insanely high water bill after an undetected slab leak
You look at your bill and think, “HOW much?!” You start racking your brain for every possibility that led to a water bill four times the usual price. “Did I leave a faucet running?” “Have I been taking too long of showers?” “Is this a typo?” You call your water company and they inform you that there is a leak, yet you have no sign of a leak anywhere in the house. Detection and repair for undetected slab leaks can be extremely difficult and definitely a job for professionals. Meanwhile, you’re stuck with an insanely high water bill while you play cat and mouse with your utilities company in an attempt to get them to lower it. They say life isn’t fair, but I wish somebody had warned us about this scenario growing up.
6. The broken dishwasher that kindly saves your leftovers
Ah, that wonderful moment when you go to pull out a clean plate from the dishwasher and you realize the plate may or may not have gotten even a drop of water on it. It’s easier said than done to keep up with washing your dishes by hand. Let’s face it- dishwashers (when they work) are a huge convenience. It can be helpful to learn a few quick tips on troubleshooting the exact problem with your dishwasher, but this is another maintenance issue that may require professional attention if DIY fixes don’t do the trick.
7. In-home bug sightings
Spiders and cockroaches and silverfish- oh my! These uninvited guests are worse than door-to-door political campaigners. If you’re one of those rare people who don’t get squeamish at the sight of all things creepy and crawly, consider yourself lucky. For the rest of the world, a run-in with any bug while you’re home alone can feel like a Wild West showdown. If you win, you feel like a triumphant war hero who can conquer just about anything. If you lose and the bug escapes, you will most likely live with paranoia and fear of your home for at least the rest of the day.
8. Inconvenient power outages
Now would be a good time to have that spare flashlight your parents nagged you about getting. You know you paid the electric bill that month, you unplug anything major that was on, you flip the right circuit breakers, and still nothing works. It’s time to light every candle in your home and perhaps perform a seance to get in touch with Benjamin Franklin. Many times there is nothing that can be done for power outages except be patient. But hey- at least your home smells like ocean breeze, pumpkin spice, and fresh lavender all at the same time.
9. The Broken Garbage Disposal
There’s nothing quite like the panic that sets in when you turn on your garbage disposal and it sounds like a brawl between a chainsaw and a weed wacker. More often than not, there is a utensil of some sort caught in the disposal and it takes just a moment of bravery to plunge your hand into the dark abyss to retrieve it. However, in the event of a serious issue with your garbage disposal, professional help is best. Tampering with unfamiliar parts can lead to worse issues with your piping and sink.
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