Getting home repairs done during the pandemic? Safety tips to follow

Businesses often ask customers whether they’ve experienced any coronavirus symptoms before sending a contractor to their home, but you should also be asking questions.

Whether it’s a leaky pipe or a repair around the house, allowing contractors into your home should be done with caution.

“This comes from what the CDC has told us about making sure we’re safe and staying clean,” said Jacob van Cleef, a consumer watchdog fellow with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

He recommends asking if a business offers contactless billing or self-service kits before making an appointment. If not, ask a business what their policy is when it comes to sick employees, and if they require workers to stay home if they’re showing symptoms of COVID-19.

“Do you know this person coming into your home? The answer is no — do as much as you can to be safe. Make sure that the person has masks, has sanitizer and hasn’t been sick,” van Cleef said.

Asking a contractor to wash their hands when they arrive is always a good idea.

The CDC recommends that customers and contractors wear face masks, limit interactions and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from each other.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, told WTOP on Monday that air circulation and physical distancing is key when having repair technicians in your home.

Fauci recommended household air filters: “If you go online, you could get a small unit [for] $49; you can get a really big unit for $150. They’re not exorbitantly expensive. And they can help. I mean, anything that can clear the air — namely a filter, an open window with a box fan that’s blowing stuff out. Those kinds of things are extraordinarily important. As simple as they may sound.”

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report. 

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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