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Homeowner Emergencies: What You Need to Prep For

Posted by South Dakota Housing Authority on Mar 17, 2016 5:35:34 PM

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Your rainy day fund is even more important once you buy a house. Incidental expenses will likely arise now and again, but you can prepare for them by taking the proper precautions ahead of time and arming yourself with the knowledge to confidently fix any potential emergency situations.

 

Fire safety

Whether it’s old or bad wiring or something as simple as a candle left burning, make sure your home is equipped with the proper equipment to promote fire safety. Equip your home with smoke alarms, particularly in high-risk areas such as kitchens (carbon monoxide detectors are also paramount for protecting you and your family). And make sure you have an unexpired fire extinguisher and know how to operate it before an emergency arises.

Plumbing problems

Problems with your pipes can happen out of the blue, so know the warning signs and what your options are if issues arise. During the winter, keep tabs on faucet flow, as frozen pipes can be expensive to remedy if you let them go for two long. If water starts to flow more slowly, you might need to investigate. 

And whether you have a sump pump or not, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on your floor drains and sewer pipes in your basement – backup can happen from issues as simple as a tree root blocking a pipe or toilet paper blockage. Have the number of a 24/7 drain expert on hand just in case – and know where your water shutoff knob is in case you need to stop all incoming water quickly.

Major appliances

There’s nothing more stressful to a budget than an unforeseen expense. Consider having an emergency fund set aside to cover the cost of major appliances if they need replacement in a pinch. Items such as furnaces and air conditioning units have a shelf life, so it’s a good idea to have a plan of attack in the event they give out during a season in which they’re highly necessary.

Power outages

On occasion, whether it’s utility work being done or a storm, you will experience power outages. When that happens, make sure you have the supplies you need to see through the outage. Have candles, matches, bottled water and a battery-operated radio on hand and accessible.

And if you’re worried about all those perishable groceries you just bought, remember that if you keep your refrigerator or freezer closed during a power outage, it’ll hold its temperature longer than if you open it.

Pests and invaders

Pests happen – especially when you live in a house. Whether it’s a kitchen ant invasion or bats in the attic, there are steps you can take to remedy a mild or major infestation. Avoid leaving food remnants or dirty dishes sitting out to attract bugs and rodents, and make sure, particularly during the summer, that your window screens don’t have tears that could let in insects.

If your roof or gutters have any small openings or cracks, you might end up with flying or climbing animals in the upper sections of your home. Make sure that once you see or hear evidence of this to call a professional pest control technician who can consult you on your options for removal.


 

Keep these tips in mind for when you move into a new house – it’ll save you some stress and, likely, some cash when you’re in a bind.

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Topics: Homeownership