8 critical home repairs you can't ignore

Overtaxed electrical

You know you've got a problem when: Outlets or switches are warm to the touch. Lights flicker. Fuses repeatedly blow out or circuit breakers keep flipping off.

What causes it: Drawing too much power through outdated electrical systems. (Modern 3-wire Romex-type wiring didn't come into widespread use until the 1970s.)

The worst that can happen: A fire burns down the house. Faulty electrical systems cause 45,000 home fires every year.

Fix it yourself? Bad idea. Only a handful of homeowners are qualified to diagnose a faulty electrical system, much less rewire a property to put all connections into junction boxes or upgrade a panel box. You run a huge risk of making the problem worse.

Who should you call? An electrician.