Owning a home is something many people dream of, and it’s certainly what a lot of people are saving for if you ask them. However, although the idea of owning a property and finally being able to put down roots, as well as having some financial stability for the future, might be a worthwhile thing to work towards, there are many considerations you’ll need to bear in mind when you do manage to get on the property ladder, and you’re handed your all-important keys.
One of those considerations is that your property won’t be perfect, and there are certain maintenance tasks you’ll need to keep up with, like keeping the place clean and making repairs when you need to, for example.
And then there are the disasters.
We’re not saying that you’re definitely going to have a litany of disasters littering your time in a property, but the fact is that problems can happen, and unexpected issues can become, at best, challenges to overcome and, at worst, disasters that cause you to have to move out – or even sell up.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering what you might be able to do with the most common home disasters. They might seem bad at the time, but the fact is that many have relatively simple solutions, so you don’t need to panic if you already have a plan in place to handle them. So read on to find out what the most common household disasters might be and what to do if you ever come across them.
Before we talk specifically about the types of disasters that might befall you in your home, we have to talk about insurance – it’s vital. Although home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, unlike car insurance, for example, it’s still something that it’s better to have than not. And remember, many mortgage lenders will need you to have a good level of insurance in place before they agree to lend you the money for your property purchase – they want to make sure the property is protected so they can get their money back if you default or there’s a problem.
Now, there’s nothing to stop you from getting insurance when you’re asked to and then canceling it further down the line, but that’s not a clever idea, and it could be the worst mistake you make. If a disaster befell your home and you had canceled your insurance, who would foot the bill for repairs? The answer is you would. And if you couldn’t, your home would be sold to cover expenses. As you can see, home insurance is a necessity, even if it’s not a legal requirement.
When you buy your home insurance, you’ll need to make sure it’s the right coverage, not just the cheapest coverage, so ensure you get everything covered that might go wrong. The rest of this list should give you an inkling of what those things might be.
Water Damage And Leaks
Water damage is perhaps one of the worst things that can happen to a property as it can lead to a lot of destruction, and afterwards you might find there’s mold in the home, which isn’t just unsightly, but it’s bad for your health as well. What’s really problematic when it comes to leaks and the damage they leave behind is that they can happen for all sorts of reasons, including burst pipes or even just heavy rainfall or melting snow. It can be hard to know you’re at risk until it happens, which is why knowing what to do when it does is so important.
The first thing you need to do is identify the source of the leak. Sometimes that’s pretty easy, thanks to the water spewing out all over the place, but sometimes it’s less obvious – it might be that there’s been a leak behind a wall for some time, and you only realize it’s happening because the water finally starts to leak out or you find mold starting to grow. However, whether it’s a simple task or a hard one, it’s something you have to do because it’s only when you find the source of the leak that you can stop it.
If the issue is a burst pipe, the best course of action is to turn off your water supply to prevent the damage from getting worse, but if it’s another issue, then you’ll have to try to contain the water with buckets and so on. If possible, find a wet/dry vacuum, as that’s going to be the quickest way to remove the water that’s going to cause damage (if you hire one, it might be that your insurance will reimburse you, so it’s worth checking).
Once you’ve dealt with as much of the water as you can, you’ll then need to put some fans and dehumidifiers in place to dry everything out, otherwise you’re almost certain to get mold growth.
Finally, call a plumber to fix the burst pipe or a roofer to fix the hole where the water got in, depending on what the cause was – the last thing you’ll want is to clear everything up only for it all to start over again because the underlying issue wasn’t fixed.
A broken furnace is a potentially big problem for any homeowner. It’s not great at any time of the year, but if your furnace breaks down over the winter period when the weather’s a lot colder, and/or if you have young children, elderly people, or pregnant women in home, then it’s going to cause a lot of problems and maybe even some health issues. If the furnace stays broken for a long time, you might even have to move out, which will incur some costs and be hugely disruptive.
It’s never a good idea to try to fix your furnace yourself because it’s a complicated piece of machinery, and although you might think you’re doing the right thing, you might actually make things worse and even more dangerous.
The best option you have and the first thing you should do when there’s an issue with your furnace is to call experts in furnace repair to deal with the issue for you. You will have to pay them, of course, but that cost is going to be a lot less than the cost involved in putting right any dangerous mistakes you make when trying to do the work yourself.
It’s amazing how reliant we are on electricity – as soon as we lose it for any length of time, everything falls apart, and things get tricky. There’s no lighting, for one thing, and if you have an electric stove, then you might not be able to cook any food, and on top of that, if you work from home, well, you can’t work at all! Then there’s entertainment; without electricity, we can’t watch TV, use computers, have Wi-Fi, or charge devices. It’s clear that when the electricity goes off, we’ll want to do something about it sooner rather than later.
Even if you don’t seem to have any power, it’s a wise move to turn your electricity supply off at the source, just in case. Yes, most of the time, it will just be a blackout, and it won’t be anything to worry about, but if it’s something more than that, turning off the power will prevent things from getting worse.
An electrical problem might cause a fire, which is one of the most destructive and dangerous outcomes, so you’ll need to check around your home just in case this has happened, and if it has, and if the fire is small enough, put it out immediately. Remember never to use water on an electrical fire, but instead, use a fire extinguisher made for electrical fires (having a variety of fire extinguishers for different causes in the home is never a bad idea). If the fire is big, don’t try to deal with it yourself, as it’s not safe. In this situation, the best thing to do is make sure everyone gets out of the house and call the fire service to handle it for you.
Once you’ve checked for (and put out) fires, you’ll need to call an electrician to put things right (assuming it’s not just a blackout, in which case, you’ll simply need to be patient or invest in a generator). As with pretty much everything on this list, it’s never a good idea to attempt to make these fixes by yourself if you don’t have the experience, expertise, or even tools to do it properly. Not only might you make your home less safe, but you might even invalidate your home insurance, leaving you with a much bigger problem if you try to claim.
Home disasters can often seem worse than they are, but that doesn’t mean you should waste any time when it comes to dealing with them. In most cases, you’ll need to get professional help, and if you have a good insurance policy, you shouldn’t be left out of pocket.