Furnace on the fritz? Water heater cold? Have a persistently running toilet? Internet down? How can people safely get home repairs done during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Here’s how some local businesses are handling it. At Ward’s Plumbing and Heating, in Waitsfield, people with heating or plumbing issues are asked to leave the house if possible. If that is not possible, they are asked to be in a different part of the house while Ward’s plumbing or heating people are present.
Before staff members show up, the homeowner or tenant is asked if they’re healthy and if they’ve quarantined for two weeks if they’ve been out of state.
“We wipe everything down when we’re done. Our guys are instructed to wipe everything down and to wipe all their tools and the van and we’ve got plans for disposing of the work masks and gloves,” said owner Brian Jenkins.
A recent call to Waitsfield Telecom to restore internet service resulted in a similar protocol with questions about health and who’d been in the home. Ditto for Pring Plumbing, called recently to fix a drainage issue at a Waitsfield condominium where the resident was asked to wipe down the kitchen, leave the front door open and stay upstairs during the repair.
Vermont’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order excluded providers of emergency and home repair people as essential workers.
Other regular home maintenance work that is now allowed in Vermont includes firewood delivery, yard cleanup, roof and deck work, other exterior work including tree cutting, rototilling, septic pumping, painting, landscaping and window washing.