During this time of social distancing, there have been many guidelines available regarding when and how to visit any public areas. Many areas have implemented stay at home restrictions, and though some areas are opening back up, it is still a good idea to limit the number of visitors to your home.
However, some visits just can’t be avoided. If your landlord needs access to your rental, if a pipe bursts and a plumber needs to come, or a technician needs to check your internet so you can continue to work from home, there are some steps you can take to make sure your home is safe for those essential visitors and for yourself after they have left.
Step One: Making the Plans
Discuss ground rules with the maintenance person or landlord. While you can’t make demands, it is certainly reasonable to ask what protocols they currently use or plan to implement during the visit. If they do not touch on some areas, you can request that they consider additional protective measures (for their safety and your own).
- Will they be wearing a mask?
- Will they take off their shoes or wear protective booties during their visit?
- What areas of the unit do they need to access?
- This can help you ascertain which areas will need to be adequately sanitized after their work is completed. This information will also help them by allowing you to sufficiently disinfect any frequently touched areas (such as handles and doorknobs) where your germs might be present.
- Do you need to be present for questions, or can you leave the space to provide additional distancing?
- This can be as simple as staying in an adjoining room, or as cautious as leaving the building entirely for the duration of time in which they will work.
Step Two: Prep and Disinfect Your Space
After discussing the nature of the visit and where in your home the maintenance person or landlord will need to access, it’s time to take the steps to fully prep the space for their visit. Be kind and courteous to these essential professionals who are here to take care of these vital issues in your home. You can easily help them by disinfecting any areas that you know they may touch.
This can ensure that you’re not passing along germs unnecessarily. In addition to cleaning the area, consider addressing any easy-to-remove items that may not be as easily washed. For instance, if the professional visiting is not wearing foot coverings, wood floors will be a lot easier to clean after a visit than your small area rug in the hallway, so consider rolling it up for the day and storing it until after the maintenance has taken place.
Step Three: Safe Practices During the Visit
Once your visitor has arrived for their task, be sure to practice social distancing as much as possible. You can stay in the same room to answer any questions, but be sure to not crowd the worker or landlord. Just as if you were in a public place, consider wearing a mask (this is for their safety and–if space allows–stay 6 feet away from the visitor whenever possible. For extra caution, if you need to supply payment to a maintenance worker at the end of the visit, ask if you are able to read your card numbers or pay via phone to prevent touching the same items.
Step Four: Cleaning After the Visit
Now that your visitor has left, it’s time to do some targeted disinfecting. There’s no need to give in to paranoia, but it won’t hurt to give cautious attention to the areas in which they worked. After a quick surface wipe-down with a disinfectant, wash your hands. Remember that old fashioned soap and water do the trick to kill and prevent the spread of most germs and COVID-19 specifically. Simply wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Essential maintenance or inspections can’t always be avoided, but with a few smart precautions, renters can stay safe during COVID-19, and ensure that visitors are also protected against unnecessary germ spread.