Handyman providing an essential service, wearing protective gear handling a sander machine.

Preparing For Home Service Calls During Lockdown

Things don’t always go smoothly at home; your plugs decide to trip the house for no visible reason. Or worse, your tap starts leaking and it won’t stop! We know you’re tempted to try a DIY electrical repair or think you can fix that leak – don’t! You may cause more damage to your property, which could cost more than the initial issue. Instead, call an expert.

This is where household insurance comes in: you contact your insurer and make a claim. Your next call is to a handyman to come and fix the issue. During this nationwide lockdown, only essential services remain in full operation. Thankfully, home repair services are classified as an essential service.

However, it’s easy to keep a 1-meter distance when you’re buying groceries, but it’s a bit complicated when the essential service maintenance handyman comes over for a home repair. Here’s how to ensure everyone’s safety during a repair job.

Scheduling the Visit

Exposure to The Virus

When scheduling the house visit, you might be asked if anyone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is quarantined due to potential exposure to the virus – be honest.

You might be tempted to withhold that information, but that would be unfair to the handyman. Meanwhile, you are also within your rights to ask the company if the essential services handyman has recently been exposed to the virus.

Touch-free Transaction

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that the coronavirus could remain on some surfaces for hours or days. To limit physical contact, you can ask for paper-less signoffs.

Precautions

Call the company and ask about the company mandates for its essential workers when entering homes. Ask if the handyman will be wearing a face mask and gloves. Also, ask whether the work being done will require the use of appropriate disinfectants to clean tools and supplies before and after use. Once these are explained to you, call, or text the service person and review these precautions with them.

Preparing Your Home

Clear a Path

You only want the handyman to attend and stick to the room that needs attention. After all, you want to avoid unecessary contact with other surfaces. So, make sure you’ve cleared the path from the entrance of your home to the room itself.

Prepare the Work Area

Preclean the area where the handyman will be working. You can lay out floor protection such as plastic sheets or old newspapers. This will make it easier for the handyman to walk around the room and place their tools. Make sure you have hand soap ready for when the job is done, so they can wash their hands. Remember to disinfect the washbasin afterward.

During the Visit

Protect Your Family

If you have elderly or immunocompromised persons in the home, move them into another room to limit contact with the handyman. Always make sure you’re wearing a cloth mask and gloves. Make sure everyone including yourself keeps a 1-meter distance from the handyman.

Protect Your Hands

If you must hand something to the worker, make sure you are using nonpermeable or disposable nitrile gloves. Make sure you wash your hands vigorously. If you can use a paper towel to cover the item when passing it, do so.

After the Visit

Wash your hands – you can never do this too much! Clean the surfaces the worker used. Be sure to use household cleaning products that kill bacteria and viruses.

Essential Services in Namibia

Before an essential worker can come to your house and fix whatever is broken, the service provider must apply for an essential service permit. The Ministry of Industrialisation has made the essential services permit application a simple process for providers. Once approved, they will get a permit and travel certificates for their business. These are important as these documents must always be presented if one is stopped by law enforcement while travelling to a home emergency.

Not everyone knows what essential services will remain open and for how long. The coronavirus is affecting more than just our health – it’s our whole lives! Try to stay at home, only leaving the house to get essential items or medical treatment, and keep practicing personal hygiene.