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5 common home improvement emergencies

Ginger Dean

December 29, 2015

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: PlumbingElectricalAppliances

Hosting any guests this year? Be prepared for when the hosting spirit throws you a curve ball. As perfect as you hope everything turns out, it can't hurt to be ready for the worst.

Keep these tips in mind to help bounce back from home improvement emergencies:

If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen

When cooking a big meal for guests, things can get out of hand. Remember to have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case, and make sure at least a few people in the house know how to use it.

Another good thing to keep in mind: grease fires can be extinguished with baking soda. Don't throw water on it; it won't help.

When your toilet is on overload

When toilets are overworked they can get clogged. Keep a plunger nearby for bathroom emergencies. If you have an older toilet or if you've had problems with it in the past, you might also want to stock up on some extra parts that you consider to be your most likely culprits for causing problems.

Just in case the electricity cuts out

Dim lighting can really set the mood, but pitch darkness can be a mood killer for your party. Sometimes a blackout can be fixed by switching a breaker back on, but sometimes a power outage can be a bigger problem.

You don't want to keep your guests in the dark or in the cold so always know where your emergency flashlights are and keep candles close at hand.

When your relationship with hot water turns cold

Cold water can be a downer for your party. Unfortunately there's nothing you can really do about it. MoneyPit.com says to "run washing machines and dishwashers at night while guests are sleeping. Consider a tank-less hot water heater, which provides little to no waiting time for hot (water)." You know how long your hot water lasts, so make guests aware of it, especially if you've got a lot of people in the house who might need a reminder to keep showers brief.

If the dishwasher decides to go on strike

Can you imagine cleaning up after a table full of guests and having your dishwasher stop working when you need it the most? If you can't clean up the pots and pans with a dishwasher, the alternative is to do it by hand - and that can be daunting.

If your dishwasher is stuck, check the filter to see if it's clogged. Remember to always rinse dishes before running them through the dishwasher to avoid any mishaps. If you're stuck doing them by hand, soak bigger, heavier items or anything that would otherwise need a lot of scrubbing.

Here's to happy, disaster-free hosting!

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