“Is my roof going to collapse?” 10 questions keeping UK homeowners awake at night

Without training and expertise, many of us turn straight to Google when something goes wrong in our home. Not only can it help us work out how to fix something, it’s handy to know you’re not the only one dealing with a pool of water on the kitchen floor!

Aspect, a London-based building maintenance firm, analysed Google search data from the past year to find out what’s concerning (and confusing!) UK homeowners. The results revealed home maintenance problems ranging from the unusual to the frankly bizarre! When things go wrong, we go straight to Google. Busily typing questions about the structure, electricals, plumbing, and exterior, in the hopes of finding a solution.

Vibrating taps and green bath water

With pipes and water running throughout, your bathroom can be the site of lots of issues. Google searchers are asking for help with common problems like gurgling drains and cold shower water. They’re also puzzled by some weirder phenomena – green bath water, toilet seats turning purple, and whether or not their shower is making them sick.

For many household queries, the reasons why are fairly easy to find on forums and industry blogs. Some remain a mystery though, including purple toilet seats, which seems to only happen in homes where there’s a pregnant woman!

Wobbling ceilings and sticky walls

When it comes to the structural stability of our homes, we’re understandably very quick to start looking for advice. Some queries sounded pretty serious, like ‘Is my floor sinking?’ and ‘Is my ceiling supposed to wobble?

We’re certainly worried about the health of our walls, ceiling, and flooring if they start to look or feel different, showing UK homeowners are quick to act if they think there’s a safety concern.

Small homeowners have more worries

Aspect’s research also revealed the nature of concerns are affected by the type of property. Homeowners are interested in specifics that affect status and ownership, including ‘Why is my house not selling?’ and ‘Is my house in a conservation area?’

People living in apartments are mainly concerned with practical issues and ongoing issues with their property, such as ‘Why is my apartment so cold?’, ‘Is my apartment making me sick?’, and bizarrely, ‘My apartment smells like onions’

Why are we so curious about our homes?

Nick Bizley, Aspect’s director of operations, believes “it’s a positive sign we’re so curious about our homes and what makes them tick”. As long as we take the relevant health and safety precautions before we start diagnosing, that is!

Diagnosing household problems not only helps us stay warm, safe, and comfortable in our homes, but it empowers us to discover things for ourselves and understand how it all works underneath the floorboards and behind the insulation.

Homeowners have the biggest incentive to get to the bottom of strange noises and mysterious leaks. These problems can appear small but turn out to have a major impact on the structural health of your property, which is expensive to fix. If you’re planning to sell in the next few years, it pays to pay attention.

See Aspect’s expert answers to the most commonly asked property maintenance questions.