How to Handle Home Repair Services during COVID-19
The rules of engagement have changed drastically during the last year. The pandemic has impacted us in ways we may not even be aware of. As a society, we have all had to adapt. There are certain things, however, that there is no way to get around: we all need a helping hand sometimes.
If something in our house malfunctions, if the heater isn’t operating at an optimum level, or if the toilet floods the bathroom, you have to call in the experts. It may not always be possible to quarantine, but it is possible to socially distance and be safe.
Here are some simple tips to follow that will ensure that you, your family, and the maintenance experts that visit your house all stay protected.
Ensure Everyone Involved is Healthy
Even before you invite them to your home, you need to know that the employee is healthy. Ask questions before you set up an appointment. Ask all these questions and don’t schedule an appointment until you are satisfied with the responses. They, in turn, should also ask you questions about the health of everyone in your family.
- What procedures does the company use to ensure their team is COVID-free?
- Do they routinely take everyone’s temperature?
- What kind of safety equipment are employees provided with?
- What is the procedure if someone exhibits signs of COVID?
- How much time do they get off from work to quarantine?
- Are they tested before they’re allowed to be back at work again?
- Have they been vaccinated?
Most companies are following the protocol and CDC guidelines. The team that visits your house will likely be wearing masks and gloves. For your own peace of mind, you can let them know that you would appreciate that the technicians wear masks. Have clean masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer placed on a table just inside the entrance, so they will have everything available to them.
Clean the Area
We now know that many COVID patients don’t display any symptoms. This means that someone in your family could have COVID but not know it yet. Before you invite people into your home, it’s a good idea to clean up the area where they will be working. Move large furniture, throw rugs, and cushions out of the way. Wash what you can, clean and wipe all surfaces with disinfectant, and clear the space of clutter and knick-knacks.
Find the Best Entrance for the Job
The main door may not be the closest path to the space where you want work done. Maybe you want something fixed in the garage or near the back of the house. Let the company know which door you would like the repair person to take so that contact is as limited as possible. You can prepare the area beforehand. Lay down newspapers or tarp if you need to. Get everything ready for their arrival.
Cover All Surfaces
Cover any furniture and surfaces with a cloth, tarp, or newspaper. Cover the floor as well. This will keep any drips or spills off of the floor and minimize cross-contamination. Remove any carpets or rugs that may be in the work area.
Keep It Sanitary
Give the workers access to a restroom. Stock it with soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. You’ll also want to place hand sanitizer in the room they are working. They can wash and sanitize their hands before they start work and after they are done.
Maintain Social Distance
Keep at least 6 feet away from the technician instead of hovering around to see what they’re doing. If possible, stay out of the room unless they want to show you something. This is important not just for you and your family’s safety, but for their safety as well.
Slow Air Flow in Your Home
COVID is spread through the air, so it’s a good idea to turn off the HVAC before the technician arrives at your house. This will keep the air from circulating within the house. Wait an hour after they leave before switching the HVAC back on.
If it’s too hot or cold to turn off the HVAC completely, cover the vents with a piece of cloth and sticky tape. This will help filter at least some of the air.
Use Contactless Payment
Be sure to ask the company about contactless payment. A lot of companies have switched over to this form of payment during the pandemic. This not only saves you from the hassle of checks and pay orders, but also ensures that germs aren’t exchanged through touch. Your HVAC company may be able to accept credit cards over the internet or use a cash app like Venmo or Zelle.
Disinfect and Clean
Once the repair person leaves, it’s time for another thorough session of disinfecting. Wait an hour or so after they’ve left to give all the airborne dust and germs a chance to settle on surfaces. Then you can clean everything. Retrace the repair person’s steps and disinfect all countertops, knobs, doors, and sinks. Throw away all the newspaper you put on the floor and wash all the sheets you used on the furniture. Be as thorough as possible with your cleaning.
For professional HVAC home repairs for all seasons, call F.H. Furr Plumbing and Heating!