If you’re a homeowner, whether you’re a first-timer or you’ve been living off your own back for a while now, you know that paying a mortgage on a house can be tough. And not just due to the financial aspect – a lot goes into home care, and you can often feel like the house brings you more stress than it does comfort. You might be wondering whatever possessed you to stop renting and move into a home of your own!
And yet, there’s a lot you can do right here and right now to prevent this stress from building up any further. Knowing how to take care of a home is not the same as owning it, and you’re probably dreading the day when the plumbing stops working or the sink blocks and backs up – don’t worry, we all do! But you don’t have to wait for a plumber to come out and sort the issue; you can manage it yourself.
As long as you know what emergencies are likely to come your way, and how to deal with them both before and during the event, you’ll be just fine in your role as homeowner! As such, here are the best ways to deal with home care emergencies without completely losing your head in the process.
Be Aware of What Emergencies are Likely
Depending on where you live, the age of your home, and what type of construction it is, some emergencies are more likely than others. Even depending on what season it is, and how hot or cold the weather outside is, your home can be prone to more or less damage than it was before. Staying aware of how outside elements apply to your home’s safety and security is essential to living stress and worry free in your home.
Of course, some home emergencies tend to be general, and apply worldwide. Things such as burst or broken pipes, or a leaky water tank, or a blocked toilet, or even just a rat or mice infestation, can happen to anyone anywhere. When it comes to water damage, don’t settle for second best. To ensure good quality repairs always go for a specialist in Protegrity Restoration and get the job done properly.
And we don’t like to think about these things happening to us, but they may one day, and you’ve got to be prepared for them!
So keep up with the time of year, and never let a sign of damage in your home lie. Get to fixing it as soon as possible, and do your best to have plenty of resources stocked away for later use. And if you don’t know what kind of emergency kit to keep in the house, we’ve got you covered:
Have Plenty of Resources in the House
As mentioned above, it’s good to have the right items in the house to help you deal with a property emergency. For example, a good toolbox is the first thing to keep nearby, to ensure you can deal with any DIY projects in swift time. Even if you’re not sure how to use a hammer properly, if you’ve got the tools right in front of you, you simply need to look up a tutorial to follow.
Of course, it’s best to always have a first aid kit in the house as well. Make sure there’s plenty of bandages, pain killers, antiseptic wipes, and even heat pads within the kit itself. You’ll want to only have to use this kit in an emergency, but when you do need it, you’ll thank yourself for stocking it so full ahead of time!
And of course, always be vigilant, and stay aware of what’s going on in your area. In the UK, we’ll soon have use of an emergency alarm system, allowing people living near potential danger to be the first to know what to expect. In other countries, this kind of alarm system is already in place, and whilst getting a notification can be scary, it can help you prepare your home and family against things like floods, heavy storms, and wildfires. But keep in mind that getting alerted like this will always be a rarity!
Know How to Turn Off the Water
If you’re aware of a leak in your home, or maybe there’s a burst pipe somewhere, or you simply want to do some housework without running into water troubles, you’re going to need to turn the water off. And that’s why it’s best to find out where the main water valve is right now – it’ll save you rushing about later on to stop a flood from forming in the kitchen or bathroom.
You usually won’t have to go far to find the valve, or the ‘stop cock’ – it’s usually placed underneath the kitchen sink itself, and is easy to access via cupboard doors. However, sometimes it can be found under the stairs or in an airing cupboard, so check all of these areas too.
But if you can’t find it anywhere in these places, it may very well be under the floor, usually near the front entry of the property. Now that might make it hard to get to in the future, and you might have to turn this tap off permanently and make home for a new one somewhere else in the home. You can find a guide for doing this right here.
Get a Warranty On Your Side
It’s often an unfortunate fact that your home insurance won’t cover everything in your home. Home insurance is put in place to keep your financial health safe from big events, such as a natural disaster. So, if a flood hits your area, you can be sure that your insurance will pay out if the water affects your home’s integrity. However, when you’ve got breakdowns inside the house to think about, your insurance won’t even touch the issue at hand.
Which is where a home warranty comes in. Home warranties are there to cover you in case of appliance breakdown, especially if you’ve got two or three systems offline at the same time. Say your oven stops working, and then the washing machine goes kaput as well – a home warranty would come in very handy here, as the loss of both these working appliances is a big knock to home and family life.
However, it’s important to properly consider the terms and conditions of any warranty you sign up to. For example, if your washing machine breaks down, and then there’s an issue over the last time it was ‘maintained’, you may run into trouble getting the payout you expect. And as with everything in life, there’s no one size fits all solution, but a warranty is still worth considering.
Know the Signs of Pests
A pest infestation is no laughing matter. Once something small and critter-like has moved in, it can turn your home into a place filled with bacteria, which can end up making you seriously ill if the problem is never addressed. But you need to know your enemy before breaking the ant powder out. Unless you’re a qualified entomologist, you can’t be sure that’s an anthill right outside your door!
However, droppings and/or nests are easy to identify, especially if you notice dark spots on a white tiled floor in the kitchen. If you do notice droppings of any kind, make sure to have a look around for hiding places, and scan around the ceiling and other high areas for nests. They’ll usually be pale in colour themselves, but they are hard to miss.
And for things like bugs, you’ll usually see a few of them around – they’re not as crafty as rats or mice. If you notice small packs of ants, wasps, or even bedbugs, you’ll want to call an exterminator straight away. You don’t want this infestation to spread, and you certainly don’t want to wake up with bite marks all over you!
Get Good at Deep Cleaning
The more you clean your home, the less likely it is to run into disaster. Of course, something like a flood or a fire is entirely out of your control, but you can help to minimise the damage by preventing creeping dirt from making the problem worse. For example, the more you clean your oven or your chip pan, the less likely a grease fire is to start.
Which is why it’s time to get good at deep cleaning. You can follow this checklist to gather the necessary materials together, and then you just need a schedule to follow. The more often you descale the toilet, the less likely it is to block, and scrubbing the oven out only needs to be done once a month. So simply come up with a cleaning rota if need be!
If you’re dreading a home emergency in the future, put your fear to bed and make sure you’re ready to take it all on. There are many ways to prepare, and most of it is just knowing how to handle yourself. After all, being a homeowner is already stressful, so don’t let a potential breakin or breakdown get you down!