• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Dealing with home emergencies

Dealing with home emergencies

Infrastructure maintenance with Tunde Obileye

Home emergencies can arise suddenly, but being prepared and knowing how to handle them can prevent additional inconveniences, damage and costs. Whether you find yourself locked out of the house or dealing with an overflowing toilet, learn how to quickly and efficiently remedy these common situations.

Even when following strict home maintenance checklists, sudden and unexpected repairs or other home emergencies are practical occurrences. Despite this, there are ways you can prepare in advance for a seemingly small home emergency to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a much larger, costly one. Below are a couple of home emergency situations.

Locked out of the house

Being locked out of the house is a frustrating experience. Assuming there are no open windows or alternative entry routes, your first reaction may be to break the door open. This is never a good idea as you are likely to damage the lock or door, which can lead to costly repairs. It also increases the level of frustration experienced and makes the situation worse.

Most occupiers have spare keys made for other household members or solely to have a spare. In this event, your best bet is to call someone with a key. It may be inconvenient (especially if late at night), but often the fastest way to resolve this home emergency without causing damage.

If you cannot access a spare key, engage the services of a locksmith. Locksmiths have industry-specific experience and tools of the trade and can allow re-entry quickly without necessarily causing damage to locks or doors.

Although you will incur the costs of the locksmith’s service, this will spare you the frustration of trying to gain access on your own, along with repair or replacement costs for your lock or door.

For the future, consider keeping a spare key nearby with a trusted friend or family member or install a digital lock that requires a code or a fingerprint to gain access to the home. If you opt for this route, ensure that checking the lock’s batteries becomes a regular part of your home maintenance checklist.

Food in the Freezer

As for food in the freezer, guidelines state that a full freezer will remain frozen for 48 hours while a half-full freezer has around 24 hours.

Random power surges can damage or destroy anything still connected to an outlet. Avoid costly replacements by disconnecting sensitive electronics. Likewise, add surge protectors to your home maintenance checklist to protect your devices for future instances.

Overflowing Toilet

When your toilet is backed up and overflowing, you will need immediate action to prevent water damage and expensive repairs. To do this, concentrate on stopping the flow of water from the toilet first. Start by removing the lid off the back of the toilet, press down on the flapper valve and lift the float to cut off the water supply. Hold the float upwards until the water level drops to a normal point.

Next step is to use a plunger to get rid of the blockage. Ensure enough water is in the bowl to cover the plunger and keep plunging until the suspected blockage is gone. In many cases, an overflowing toilet results from a temporary blockage of toilet paper buildup, and plunging will resolve it.

If the problem persists, you may be facing a more severe sewage problem, blocked vents, clogged pipes, or a full septic tank. Call an emergency plumber for assistance and follow any steps they recommend until they arrive on-site.