We have written here many times about home maintenance, along with what falls under the do-it-yourself projects and what doesn’t.

Three areas that usually fall on the side of calling a professional are electrical, HVAC and plumbing. In this article, our focus is on plumbing.

There are a handful of things on the plumbing side that can be considered DIY work, according to Preston Nazworth of Quality Plumbing of Gainesville.

“It starts with cleaning,” said Nazworth. “You should clean your bathrooms regularly. We see people who don’t clean enough because they are trying to conserve water. The problem they face is if they are not cleaning, they are creating draining problems.”

He sees similar problems in the kitchen but mostly because of grease.

“People don’t know how to dispose of grease,” he said “They often just dump it down the sink instead of removing it outside. Putting grease down the sink will cause clogging problems.”

If you do put grease down the sink, there is a way to avoid problems. Mix that grease with soapy water.

“That’s the only thing that will cut grease,” he said.

Beyond that, the best thing you can do in your home to avoid plumbing problems is to be aware.

“You need to know what to look for and listen for,” Nazworth said. “If water is running down a drain more slowly than it used to, or if the drain is clogging, that’s a problem you should get ahead of by calling a plumber. The same is true if you see a slow drip from the sink.”

Here are some things for which you should always call a professional.

“If you have a whole-house water stoppage or a whole bathroom backup, you should not be trying to fix that yourself,” he said. “If your hot-water heater is leaking from the tank or your garbage disposal is broken, you need a professional to look at that as well.”

He also said listening for problems is a good idea.

“If you hear running water and see some damage, don’t try to find it on your own,” he said. “Instead, you should know how to turn your water off or how to shut off the valve on a water heater. Then, call for help.”

Finally, there are some things you can do for water damage before calling in a restoration company to make repairs.

“Water damage can, depending on the extent, be remedied without calling for help,” Nazworth said. “Obviously, the best thing to do is prevent water damage by being proactive when there’s a plumbing issue. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. Start with fans. Get everything as dry as you can. That may be enough. If it looks like you have mold, it may just be mildew. It’s possible to fix that with a wet, soapy rag.”

If that doesn’t work, you may need to reach out to a restoration company for help.