Getting basic services has been difficult during the Covid-19 pandemic, and plumbing emergencies have been an absolute nightmare for many.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few basic guidelines, you can handle an emergency situation if you’re looking for a plumber in Northern VA.
Where to Begin?
Start with the basics: what constitutes an emergency?
- If you’ve got a leak, is it a severe one?
- Can it possibly be postponed until the current circumstances are more manageable?
- In situations where the emergency isn’t dire, you can use the lead time to get better service and save a lot of money.
If you do have an emergency situation in which getting service can’t be postponed, it still pays to look around a little. Use reviews, neighbor sites online and other similar sources to get a better idea of who’s providing emergency services and under what circumstances.
These reviews will also tell you who’s doing the best job. Basic competence is essential, and getting a bad plumber or an unreliable company can actually make your emergency situation worse, believe it or not.
Once you’ve found a potential plumber or a pluming company, do a little more homework.
- Is the company practicing social distancing?
- Are basic hygiene procedures being followed?
- What are their requirements going to be when they come into your home, and how flexible will they be?
These elements of a service call may sound fundamental, but they’re even more important in an emergency situation.
Planning and Safety
Once you start making calls, have a more extensive conversation about safety in an emergency.
First, ask the plumber if an emergency can be solved over the phone, with the plumber giving you basic instructions and walking you through a procedure.
Then, assure the plumber that you’re practicing social distancing as well, and that you’ve cleaned things up to make the setting as sanitary as possible.
Reviewing the logistics is essential as well. Try to estimate the amount of time a plumber will need to be in your home during the emergency, and take pains to make it as short as possible.
There may be some things that can be done outside the home during the visit, e.g, assembling a pipe, and if it’s at all possible try to leave doors open to provide extra ventilation while the plumber is working. Some plumbers are setting up the equivalent of dust walls to help prevent the transmission of Covid-19, and if the visit is going to be for several hours or more this may be a good idea.
Also, make sure the area is clear and make access as easy as possible so that the plumber can do the job right.
Finally, most plumbers are carrying hand sanitizers and wearing a mask these days, but you should at least offer access to these things to make sure you’re thoroughly covered.
Know the Law
Another important factor during a plumbing emergency is to know the law and the conditions in your area. Nearly all states have defined plumbing as an essential service, but many have placed restrictions on who can come out, when, and what standard practices have to be followed.
Stay up to date on current conditions, and use them to help your cause. If you live in a place where progress is being made with Covid-19, it will make it that much easier to secure a good plumber and solve your situation.
Laws and guidelines are changing frequently, so it’s important to know what’s happening from week to week. And in cases in which spikes are occurring, it becomes even more important to observe social distancing and make sure the emergency situation stays safe.
Once the emergency is over and presumably solved, make sure you clean up thoroughly. Disinfect all surfaces, especially those that may have been exposed to waste during the visit. If you have bleach, use it, and if you use an alcohol solution make sure it’s at least 70 percent alcohol.
A Note for the Future
One of the important things to keep in mind about plumbing emergencies is that many are preventable.
Due to the toilet paper shortages that occurred shortly after the outbreak began, many towns and cities reported a flood of emergencies because people began trying to flush wipes, tissues and other substitute items. If it’s not human waste or toilet paper, don’t flush it and cause an unnecessary emergency.
Above all, don’t panic as you go through these procedures. Taking a step-by-step approach is essential to solve your emergency, so always keep that first and foremost in your mind, although with the obvious safety considerations.