The key to keeping yourself safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. That’s what all the masks, social distancing, and handwashing are all about. However, there are times when you can’t avoid interacting with other people, and that includes when your home needs repair. Here are some things you can do to keep this situation from creating unnecessary risk for you and your family.

Contact a Professional

Certain jobs are fine for your neighborhood fix-it service, but those that require the worker to come inside the house should only be handled by a professional. Contractors of all kinds are being kept current on safe procedures by their state and local regulatory agencies, and that means you can rest assured that they will do everything necessary to keep your family safe.

Plan Access

Many places are required to have one-way traffic flow inside buildings to minimize the amount of exposure visitors have to each other. There’s no reason you can’t do this at home. For example, if you have a leaky pipe in your basement, don’t have the plumber come through the front door and go all through the house to the basement steps. Instead, tell the company you’ll have the outside basement door unlocked and ready for access.

Limit Interaction

Along with the access information, provide as much detail as you can about the exact problem and its location when you call the contractor. This can reduce or even eliminate the need for you to be in the same space with the technician, protecting both of you from undue exposure. You might be able to use signs or tape to highlight problem areas. Wear gloves if you need to sign a ticket when the job is complete.

Consolidate Tasks

When it rains, it pours. Sometimes you may find a second problem just days after finding the first problem. Before calling anyone for repairs, think about checking other areas in the same system. For example, if one faucet is leaky, look around for other plumbing problems so that repairs can be made in one trip by one person instead of two trips by two people. That cuts in half your exposure to the contracting company and their exposure to you–the ideal situation for everyone.

Some things have stopped during the pandemic, but household repairs aren’t one of them. Just like everything else, plan your repairs with an eye toward limiting the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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