Have you had to have repairs done in your home during the coronavirus pandemic? Or are you like me – do you keep putting them off until lockdown ends?
Unfortunately, things seem to go wrong at the worst possible times, don’t they? And you never can count on the weather – I’ve lost count of the number of people I know whose boilers broke down during the recent cold spell. I’ve been there and let me tell you, virus or not, nothing would have stopped me calling a plumber while everyone else huddled next to the fan heater!
Luckily we haven’t had anything that dramatic so far (possibly thanks to a wad of bubble wrap I wound round our condensate pipe after our last spell without hot water – #resourceful!) But I do have a fridge freezer that keeps creating blocks of ice and mini swimming pools under the meat drawer, so after several weeks of prising out ice and mopping, I finally bit the bullet and called an appliance repair person.
I’ve worried so much about having people in my home even though government guidelines state that it’s okay to have household items repaired, even in lockdown. I’ve been so careful – even washing most of my groceries on delivery – to avoid the risk of bringing germs into our house. So now that I’ve had to call in a tradesperson who visits several homes a day, I’ve made sure to be extra careful. Here are a few of the things I did to prepare for his visit.
How to make your home COVID safe for tradespeople
Firstly I cleared as many surfaces as possible to give them plenty of space to work. Then I used an antibacterial spray to clean the surfaces they were likely to come into contact with, including the fridge door, door handles and seals.
Next I removed all the compartments in the fridge that I thought he might need out to gain access to the back of the fridge. This was partly to avoid him having to touch surfaces we’ve all touched, but also to avoid the need for him to remove them himself and risk breathing germs onto foods in the fridge.
Finally I opened all the windows in the kitchen and wore a mask. I know from the way the kids’ school operates that it’s considered safest when you’re indoors to have windows open to disperse germs. They’re chilly, but they’re safer that way!
COVID-safe practices to expect from your tradesperson
There are some expectations you should have of a professional tradesperson too. Local Heroes is an organisation that matches skilled and vetted local tradespeople to customers who need jobs completed in their home. Backed by British Gas, Local Heroes know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy and reliable tradespeople locally, and that’s been even more of a focus for them during the coronavirus pandemic.
Local Heroes’ advice on tradespeople and COVID 19 is that they should wear a mask on arrival, and as far as possible maintain a 2 metre distance while they’re inside your home. My tradesperson also called me five minutes before arrival, which helped me to be prepared.
What else can you do to stay safe when you need to have an appliance repaired during the pandemic?
Taking Local Heroes advice I also followed these practices:
- Inviting him to wash his hands on arrival
- Leaving doors open so that he didn’t have to touch door handles as he moved around the house
- Not offering him a cup of tea!
I’ll admit that last one feels awful to me – almost as bad as the time I met our new hospital consultant and I didn’t shake his hand. Just so rude! But I reassured myself that it was safer for him and me, and when I apologised he reassured me that he had a Costa in his van. Phew!
I must admit I feel much more confident now getting not only the bigger items fixed, but also all those pesky little DIY jobs I used to call someone in for before we went into lockdown.
What about you? Have you been waiting to get things fixed, trying to brush up your DIY skills, or cracking on with booking a trusted professional?
Who are Local Heroes?
Since its inception in 2016, Local Heroes has been on a mission to make getting jobs done hasslefree. Through the creation of a booking platform which puts the customer and tradesperson in control, the Local Heroes service enables consumers to book at times which suit them and provides reassurance that the work is guaranteed. Today, Local Heroes has a network of 7,000+ local companies across Britain, covering almost every job in your home from plumbing to plastering and decorating to electrics. Ensuring trust through vetting all tradespeople on the Local Heroes platform, the company aims to provide top quality, efficient service for homes across the country. Local Heroes currently provides support for up to 13 trades, including plumbing, plastering, heating and tiling. Whatever the job, there’s a Local Hero for that.