Homeownership is one of the most rewarding parts of life. We have purchased our own tiny little corner of the world that serves as our safe haven. Our homes truly become part of us.
However, homeownership often comes with its battles. For example, what homeowner hasn’t experienced clogged pipes, overflowing toilets, and power outages? While seemingly small, these common home emergencies can turn into nightmares if you don’t know how to handle them.
Let’s take a look at 15 of the most common home emergencies and what to do if you find yourself in the middle of them!
The Most Common Home Emergencies
Home emergencies can range from insignificant, yet annoying to life-threatening. They can also be easily fixable or quite expensive. If you need extra cash for a home emergency, there are several options, but you can learn how to apply for quick cash here.
Otherwise, let’s get started. We’re going to guide you through everything from leaky pipes to facing down intruders!
1. No Heat or Air Conditioning
More often than not, when your HVAC system goes out, it’s more of an inconvenience than anything. However, imagine losing heat in the middle of winter. Imagine losing heat on a day when the temperature is below zero.
What do you do?
We recommend calling an emergency service immediately to come fix the problem. In this scenario, unless you’ve had the training, don’t bother trying to fix it yourself, your house will be losing heat fast and you’ve got more important things to do.
Depending on how soon the heater can get fixed, you may need to round up your family (including pets) and take them to a friend or family member’s house. Wait there until the heat is back on in your home.
2. No Hot Water
There are very few human beings who enjoy taking cold showers. When the hot water heater stops working, we wish we could too! However, that’s probably not an option.
In this common home emergency, call a plumber immediately. If it’s on the weekend and you don’t want to wait, you may incur extra costs. However, it’s either that or cold showers!
3. Grease Fire in the Kitchen
A common home emergency that can quickly turn into a nightmare is a grease fire in the kitchen. Fire is a scary thing and often sends people into a panic. However, you must remain calm so you can think clearly.
If a grease fire flares up in a pan, grab a lid from a wok or pot and place it over the fire. Let the lid suffocate the fire. If the fire won’t die down or there is no lid available, use baking soda to douse the fire.
Do not use water, it will make things worse!
4. Negative Drainage
Another common home emergency is water in the basement due to negative drainage. In this case inspect the foundation of your home, particularly where the water is leaking in.
If the ground is angle down toward the foundation rather than away from it, water is draining toward the house and seeping through the foundation. Correct this by building up the foundations against the house so it slopes away from the foundation, allowing water to drain away safely.
This may be a big enough problem that you need to call in the experts.
5. Leaking Pipes
A small dripping pipe can lead to big problems down the road. Excessive water damage and harmful mold may be in your future. If the leaky pipe is accessible, try tightening it to see if it’s loose.
If that doesn’t work, turn off the water to your house. The valve is typically in the basement, utility room, or on the outside of the home. Once your water is off, disassemble the pipe and add a sealant to the connection point and threads.
You can find plumbing sealants at any hardware store, just tell them what you’re looking for. If the pipe isn’t accessible or you can’t fix the problem yourself, call a plumber.
6. Power Outage
Another common home emergency is experiencing a power outage. Assuming you don’t have a backup generator on hand, there’s not much you can do about not having power.
However, you can make sure your family is safe and the kiddos aren’t too scared (if it’s at night or during a thunderstorm). Make sure you have candles and flashlights that are easily accessible.
You can use this time to play board games with the family, roast marshmallows over the candle flame, etc. This is a good time to take advantage of a lack of electronics we can never seem to get away from!
Try not to open the fridge or freezer, however, as it will decrease the amount your food will stay good without power.
One of the more dangerous common home emergencies is dealing with an intruder. We recommend safety above all else. Most burglars will leave a home if they know people are there and/or awake.
However, if they don’t leave, do what they tell you and give them what they want. Insurance will cover any losses and no one needs to get hurt.
To prevent this scenario, consider investing in a home security system. The alarm alone is usually enough to deter intruders from sticking around.
8. Pest Infestation
The average home in America has over 100 types of bugs in it. However, before you get upset, most of these bugs aren’t pests and are actually helpful around the house, eating mold or getting rid of pests.
Unfortunately, though, many homeowners do experience pest infestations. If you notice mice, ants, cockroaches, or termites, it’s best to act immediately. You can go about doing things on your own, but a surefire move is calling in profession pest control.
Additionally, keep in mind that prevention is key. To avoid pest problems:
- Keep your home tidy
- Seal up any food
- Keep things dry
- Keep the area around the house clean and dry
- Seal up cracks, holes, and gaps on the exterior of your home
- Pay attention to warning signs
- Keep vegetation near the house trimmed
As we talked about before, homeownership is incredibly rewarding, even with all of the common home emergencies. However, it’s best to know how to handle situations when they come up.
Additionally, if you want to avoid finding yourself in a cash emergency, we recommend keeping an emergency budget in a safe or in a separate savings account. For more money advice and tips, take a look at the rest of our articles!