When prevention is better than cure

Confused


Despite the economic reboot, the reality is that many homeowners are yet to see the upturn hit their pocket and, as such, continue to put vital home repair work firmly on the back burner. However, what many don’t realise is this could lead to both major financial and safety repercussions in the long run as Julie Spinks, director at WaterSafe explains.

The economy is certainly on the up, particularly in the commercial trade world. In fact, according to the latest construction industry forecast from the Construction Products Association, construction output is set to increase by 5.8% in 2015 and a massive 17.8% by 2017.

In the main this boost can be attributed to a range of new commercial building projects. From huge corporate developments in London, through to government investment in local authority, the construction business is booming.

However, it is important to remember we are still in recovery and many homeowners are yet to feel the benefit of the economic upturn.

In fact, according to a new research campaign we’ve just launched at WaterSafe, 87% of Brits still have less disposable income than five years ago despite the economic recovery. In fact, they’re faced with an average £222 less a month.

As a result, our study reveals two thirds (66%) of British households have had no choice but to put vital maintenance on the backburner for at least a year, while one in ten (12%) haven’t had any done work on their home since 2010. More worryingly, half of respondents said they’d put off fixing any faults within the home – such as a major plumbing problem – for as long as possible due to the cost involved.

In stark contrast, however, more than two thirds (69%) admitted they’d happily splash any spare cash on treating themselves first and foremost. Holidaying (39%), eating out (29%) and beauty buys (24%), all came above domestic repair work in the list of payday priorities.

Of course, when times are hard it is understandable that homeowners may prefer to spend what limited spare money they do have on life’s little luxuries; however, the worry is it could come at cost. As our insight suggests, the issue lies in a distinct lack of awareness among homeowners about the implications of delaying home repair work – particularly when it comes to plumbing.

So, what’s to be done? It is all about raising awareness. As an industry, we need to highlight the consequences of failing to address domestic maintenance issues immediately – in a way which resonates with the everyday consumer.

Consumers must understand the serious safety and financial implications of delaying any plumbing work. After all, among the mass of things, which constantly need to be considered in any home, plumbing problems are one of the most important and shouldn’t be overlooked.

And so, we need to emphasise the cost implications of delaying what may even seem the most trivial of plumbing jobs. For example, poor insulation, a running toilet, a leaky tap or a non-functioning may seem like something the homeowner can live with, but very often they are a sign of a larger, underlying problem which may only get worse. In this way, if they decide to bide their time until there is a catastrophic plumbing issue, the repair costs could potentially be hundreds of pounds more than if they had addressed the issue straightaway.

It’s also vital that we reiterate the fact that timely repairs can prevent serious damage. For example, homeowners may not be aware of the severity of a leak and it could potentially wreak havoc on their home. Not just in terms of damaging their possessi