Common Home Emergencies

by Meg Burke 06/09/2019

No homeowner ever wishes to have to deal with certain emergencies at home, but in the off chance that you happen to face any of these common ones, there's no need to fret. Just follow these instructions, and you may be surprised at how well you handled the situation.

1. Leaking Roof

While you call a professional roof repairer, try to locate the source of the leak, and use a bucket to collect the water. Next, move all electrical appliances that are close by, and also switch off all the general power outlets until repairs are complete. You should also move furniture and soft furnishings out of the way to avoid permanent damage to them. If they are too heavy, you should cover them with plastic sheeting or heavy towels. Remember to ask the roof repairer for an assessment of the general condition of the roof to prevent future leaks.

2. Burst Pipes

Two significant signs of a burst pipe are an unwanted pool of water or a trickling sound that appears to come from within a wall cavity. If you notice this, first move all electrical items safely out of harm’s way. Then do what you can to stop the water supply to the entire home, then switch on both your cold and hot water taps. Drain them completely so that no more water comes out. Speak to a plumber and relay the location of the puddle or dripping water and information on whatever steps you've taken. You will get instructions over the phone about any further steps to take. But most likely you'll need a professional visit. 

3. Blocked Toilet

A clogged toilet definitely is one of the most dreaded household emergencies. While there are many likely causes for a blocked toilet such as foreign objects or children’s toys, poo is the most likely culprit. Having a sturdy plunger on hand will prove to be most helpful, as in most cases, drawing up the blockage is the best way to budge it. If that doesn’t seem to get the job done, find an old mop stick that you can use to wedge down into the bowl and try to dislodge the blockage. If neither of these tactics works, then it’s time to call in the cavalry—a licensed plumber. Meanwhile, on the off chance that you need to use the toilet before it's fixed, you might have to visit the neighbors you have been friendly to throughout the year.

Knowing what to do is essential to dealing with emergencies, and these are simple steps that anyone can follow.

About the Author
Author

Meg Burke

 Meg & Loudoun County: Back in 1993, we moved here from Pennsylvania, thinking we'd stay for a year or two -- now it's been well over twenty five! In the past I was a broadcast advertising rep (Philly market) and at-home mom, until in 2000, when I jumped into the real estate business. Even with all the ups & downs, I've loved this business ever since! I've raised two wonderful children in Loudoun County Public Schools (www.lcps.org); one is a recent VA Tech graduate, and the other graduated from UVA. I've come to know Northern Virginia well and truly enjoy calling Loudoun County "home." Northern Virginia, and Loudoun County in particular, expanded dramatically in the mid 2000's; but along with the rest of our nation, experienced the challenging real estate market contraction of the "great recession." Luckily, our area has been back in a solid growth trend in recent years, so we are seeing fewer distressed properties and both resale and new construction homes are selling well. Let me assure you: Even as it grows, Loudoun County continues to be a wonderful place to live! Where else can you live less than an hour from concerts at the Kennedy Center or Capitol Center, Smithsonian Museums, the AND the Appalachian Trail? Loudoun County Notes: One of Loudoun's strengths is that we have a broad-based economy. We are not just a federal government dependant suburb. For example, did you know that over 70% of the world's Internet traffic flows through Loudoun County daily? (https://biz.loudoun.gov/) Ask me about the 45 mile-long Washington & Old Dominion Trail, which is great for jogging, walking the dogs or even an all-day bike trek. https://www.novaparks.com/parks/washington-and-old-dominion-railroad-regional-park Do you enjoy wines? Loudoun County is home to award-winning vineyards, with a reputation that is growing every year. www.visitloudoun.org/things-to-do/wine-country/ Serious shopper? Then you must visit the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets! The antique shops in Leesburg, Purcellville & Middleburg are fantastic. You won't want to miss my personal favorite: the Waterford Fair in October -- an outdoor juried crafts fair in historic Waterford. www.waterfordfoundation.org History buff? Gardener? Perhaps you would prefer to stroll the grounds of Oatlands Plantation, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property; tour Morven Park or Dodana Manor in Leesburg. The farm and garden tours each year are always fascinating and enjoyable. Country Fairs are still going strong in Loudoun County. The Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival in Apri (another one of my personal favorites); the Bluemont Fair in September; Octoberfest in Lovettsville;... These are just a few of the events to enjoy throughout the year. Loudoun County and Leesburg, the county seat, are frequently included in "best of" lists (http:\/\/money.cnn.com\/magazines\/moneymag\/best-places\/2013\/snapshots\/PL5144984.html ) (https://smartasset.com/mortgage/happiest-places-in-america) There is so much to enjoy in Loudoun. Come see for yourself. I'd be happy to show you around! There are so many reasons to enjoy living here, but remember, the market is still quite fluid and challenging. Let me help you navigate your way through the interesting and sometimes overwhelming resales, short sales, foreclosures and new construction. I take my profession seriously; and although I do have my bachelor's degree (U. Penn, back in 1981), I am constantly upgrading my professional education in order to provide you with the most informed and up-to-date real estate support. Please remember: whether you or your friends are interested in buying or selling, MOVE WITH MEG! Let me help you make this a positive experience for you -- both for your family and your finances!