How to Minimize Exposure When You Need Home Services.
This article has been written to help Ottawa homeowners minimize exposure when they have to hire a professional to provide home services during a pandemic.
Home services include services and installations for:
- air conditioning
- water heater or tankless
- duct cleaning
- maid services
- appliance repairs
- furniture delivery
- and more…
Basically anyone you invite into your home.
Here are some tips to help minimize your family’s risk of exposure. The goal is providing safer home service experience during a pandemic. Whether you are having your air conditioner replaced or your plumbing toilet unblocked – here is what you need to know.
How to Prepare for a Home Service Call during a Pandemic?
Before inviting a service technician into your home during a pandemic it is very important that you clean any surface that the technician may need to touch (door knobs, stair case railings, thermostat, toilet, whatever you are going to have that technician work on).
Once clean, leave the room or area vacated for at least 3 hours prior to the technician’s arrival (if possible). If the job is going to take a few hours try to leave them with 1 cleaned bathroom exclusively for their use during the work.
If the company you just called did not ask you to clean the area before their technician arrives you may want to cancel that service call. A company that asks you to clean before they arrive are more likely to follow strict safety protocols which reduces the chances of them bringing something into your home.
Upon the technician’s arrival open the door and take a look at the technician – is he/she wearing any safety equipment (mask, gloves, face shield)? If they have nothing then do NOT let them in your house. Odds are they just went in a previous home without any safety precautions either. If you are in doubt cancel the call.
If you do have to call their office to cancel ask for the manager and let them know that a technician showed up without the proper safety equipment. They may try to charge you a trip charge but if you inform the manager that the technician wasn’t prepared to safely perform the tasks you can usually get them to drop any fees.
If they are safely geared up, only then should you let them in your home making sure any family members remain in a different part of the home during the work while maintaining safe distances.
Upon completion of the work have the technician review the work with you (via cell phone or at a safe distance). Payment should be made by credit card with you reading the number to the technician (they shouldn’t touch your credit card or get that close to you).
Once the bill is paid ideally you should receive your paid receipt by email. It is best to avoid physical paperwork during a pandemic – but if they have to leave a paper bill have them leave it in your mail box or on a counter then don’t physically touch the bill for 24 hours to give any bacteria or viruses time to die off before touching the paper.
Once they leave the home disinfect and wipe down anything that technician may have potentially touched (thermostat, railings, door knobs, bathroom, faucet, toilet, etc.). You may also want to keep the area vacated for 3 hours if they were working for extended time to allow the air to clear.
Some home services are essential during a pandemic but if you know how to prepare you have a better chance of keeping your family safe.
If the company you hired provided a safe and professional experience – please share that with others on Face book or Google reviews or BBB… Your experience can help others when trying to chose which company to hire (and which to avoid). Only through honest and open communications can we minimize the spread of this virus while continuing to provide essential services during a pandemic.