A trip to the home improvement store can solve all kinds of problems: you can find new light fixtures, easy-to-install shelving and so much more. But some items you can buy might cause more harm than good.
Recently, Angie’s List magazine suggested a few items that the average homeowner should NOT bring home from the home improvement store:
While such deadbolts might make you feel secure in your home, they are also a fire safety hazard. When fire breaks out, no one has time to scramble and search for a key. Best to avoid this option altogether.
Screened dryer vents:
“It worries us that these are still being sold,” writes Angie’s List. “Lint is flammable and when screens are installed on the dryer vent, it creates a hazard.” Building codes forbid the use of screens on the dryer vent termination. If you have one, be sure to get it replaced and certainly don’t bring one home from the hardware store.
Plastic dryer vents:
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 15,000 fires start in dryers every year. Plastic dryer vents melt quickly, causing such fires to spread. Metal vents offer homeowners more time to detect the dryer fire and extinguish it.
While homeowners are led to believe that these decorative items placed at the bottom of a downspout will help disperse water and protect their home’s foundation, this is not the case. Most experts advise dispersing water 4 to 8 feet away from the foundation; some even recommend 10 feet. Many splash blocks are a scant 2 feet long and simply can’t get the job done.
“When you are stumped with a plumbing problem,” writes Angie’s List, “you may be tempted to buy flexible, corrugated, accordion-like plumbing materials.” But beware: This type of plumbing isn’t approved for your home’s drainage system. Furthermore, if you don’t install it in a way that creates a proper trap, dangerous sewer gases may enter your home, causing a safety hazard. In this case, DON’T DIY; call a plumber.
Have more questions about home improvements? Check out our previous remodeling & DIY blog articles.