Managing Repairs and Maintenance During a Pandemic

Handling a home repair issue can be a headache at the best of times, but becomes even more challenging during a pandemic. The first thing when determining how to handle one is to consider the level of priority of the repair. Is this a routine maintenance item that can be postponed for a couple months? Or is it a repair you might be able to do yourself? If you determine that your repair need is an emergency and needs to be addressed as soon as possible, we have a few tips for protecting the health and safety for both you and the contractor.

The first step will be to look for a reputable contractor. As always, you should use a contractor that is licensed, bonded, and insured. You can verify a contractor’s status by searching the L&I Verify website. When calling to request assistance, it is appropriate to ask whether the contractor or company is following all CDC and state guidelines such as wearing a mask and screening employees for illness. You should also assure your chosen contractor or company that you are following guidelines as well. If they are a responsible company, they will likely ask you if you or anyone else in your household has or has been exposed to COVID-19. Many companies are providing contactless payment, so utilize that option whenever possible as well.

If your repair emergency requires a contractor to come inside your home, here are a few things you can do to make the situation as safe as possible for both you and the contractor:

  • Always request that workers entering your home wear a mask. If you are able, have a few clean masks on hand yourself.
  • For the safety of the workers, please sanitize the areas in your home where the work will be performed.
  • Prior to the repair visit, determine the shortest or least invasive path through the house to access area needing the repair. Clear away any clutter and if possible remove items that would be difficult to disinfect.
  • As a courtesy, you may also make soap or hand sanitizer available.
  • Consider shutting off your HVAC unit if you have one during the visit to minimize potential spread of germs circulating through the air in your home.
  • Disinfect work areas after the workers are finished.

As with all of us, many companies have been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Everything from staffing and scheduling, to the ability to procure materials and parts needed for jobs has become a challenge. Jobs may also take a bit longer than normal due to new safety practices. Please be patient with contractors as most of them are doing their best to provide you with a service during this difficult time.