Emergency situations always occur when you least expect them to. Being caught unprepared adds unnecessary stress and usually becomes more costly. So, what do you need to know to be prepared for the unexpected? In this article, we are going to cover what qualifies as an emergency repair and how to be prepared when something unexpected happens.
What qualifies as an emergency repair?
- Flooding. This can be a leaking or burst pipe or weather damage. But with an outpouring of water seeping into your home, it can lead to mold issues and even structural or electrical issues. Any kind of flooding in your home qualifies as an emergency and needs to be addressed immediately.
- Gas leaks. If you start to smell gas or what some people say, smell rotten eggs, it’s time to call the fire department and safely leave your home until a fire crew has found the leak and turned off the gas line. Then you need to call someone and have it fixed as soon as possible.
- A fire breaking out in the home is severely dangerous. The most important thing is you and your family’s safety. If the damage is salvageable, it’s helpful to have a company in mind to assess the situation and begin working to restore the home.
- Broken door locks. While this may not immediately seem like an emergency, home security is imperative. Broken door locks invite all kinds of trouble and need to be repaired as soon as possible.
- Sewage backup. Like with flooding issues, a sewage backup causes concern for all sorts of health and mold issues. This is an emergency and should be treated with caution.
- Electrical issues. Having electricity issues in your home may seem like a simple problem like a power outage. But electrical issues can become emergencies if there are power surges as they can lead to electrical fires. If an electrical fire occurs, the best thing to do is turn off the power and do not use water to put out the fire. Water only stimulates electrical fires and can make it harder to put out. It is recommended if the fire is small enough, to put it out with baking soda. Baking soda contains bicarbonate which is effective with small electrical fires. You should contact emergency services for all electrical fires, even if they have been put out.
- Broken windows. Broken windows may not sound like an emergency right away but just like with broken door locks; it leaves your home open to several issues. These issues include animals getting in or out, intruders finding access into your home, cold or hot AC air escaping, being exposed to the elements, and more.
- Mold growth. Any kind of mold growth is an emerging problem that needs to be addressed immediately. No matter the size of the mold spot, bring attention to it as quickly as possible. Mold inhalation is toxic and can cause several health problems.
- Termites, mice, and other pests. If you witness termites or mice anywhere in your home, it’s time to call an exterminator and get in touch with someone to check for damage. If they are caught early, there is a good chance the damage will be minimal, but termites can cause foundational issues and mice can cause electrical issues or infestations.
- Weather damage. As much as we do in the south to be prepared for severe weather, storms are unpredictable. It is important to have a company or crew in mind for the possibility of weather affecting your home.
How to prepare for the unexpected
- Have trusted services to call. It’s a good idea to make a list of issues you want to be prepared for and then have companies or services available to you if a disaster occurs. Be sure to ask about their emergency response and how that process works to be sure you are comfortable with it.
- Have an emergency fund for repairs. There are a few tricks for being prepared financially for when the unexpected happens. Some say you should save 1% of the cost of your home to be used for unexpected or emergency repairs. So if your home is worth $275,000, ideally you would have $2,750 ready to use for emergencies.
- Know what insurance will cover. Get in contact with your insurance agent and check what can be covered in the case of an emergency. Knowing what is covered and what isn’t will give you perspective on how much to save in an emergency fund.
- Keep up with routine maintenance. Routine maintenance can help prevent some emergencies. Maintaining things like changing air filters, servicing major appliances such as HVAC systems, furnaces, water heaters, etc., and having electrical systems, roofing, and other home systems inspected so you can get ahead of potential emergencies.
- Have your home inspected yearly. Inspections by professionals are imperative as they have the training to hunt for issues and spot problems we normally wouldn’t notice. Having a professional conduct these inspections can also bring you peace of mind that your home is safe and ready for anything.