Dealing With Home Emergencies After Retirement

Written by Joshua Nelson

You’ve finally made it to retirement, and you’re ready to revel in your “golden years”. You have some plans on how to spend your time and manage your retirement income, but a lot of question marks still remain.

It won’t be as easy to take care of DIY home improvement projects. But when emergency-level projects are thrust upon you, you can’t afford to delay attending to them. Sure, you’d rather spend your time sitting by the seashore, fishing and enjoying the weather in some vacation paradise.

But realistically, you’re aware that accidents, emergencies, and urgent home repairs are sure to crop up from time to time.

Here are seven of the most common types of home emergencies you need to be prepared to deal with effectively and efficiently as you enter retirement:

  1. Plumbing Emergencies

A home emergency that is potentially the most devastating and difficult to deal with has to do with plumbing. A badly clogged toilet, drain, or pipe that drain decloggers and plungers will not cure, a broken or burst hot water heater/system, or an out-of-sight leak from a plumbing pipe that is softening your drywall and flooding your floor are only a few of the possible scenarios.

Water damage, backed up sewage and wastewater, the spread of dangerous pathogens, and the creation of a slip-and-fall hazard are some of the dangers plumbing “gone wrong” can bring in its wake.

If you don’t possess the tools and know-how for rapid plumbing repairs, or if you don’t want to be bothered with it now that you’re retired, be sure to keep the number of a 24/7 emergency plumber, such as PlumbingFix, always handy.

  1. Outbreaks Of Mold And Mildew

Sometimes in the wake of a flood or simply due to too much moisture or condensation accumulated in certain areas of your home, you may suddenly spot mold and mildew growth.

Mold shouldn’t be taken lightly. It not only makes your walls, ceilings, baseboards, or other affected area look unappealing, it is a genuine health hazard. Black mold especially can cause serious lung infections, exacerbate asthma, irritate allergies, and violent coughing episodes.

Try cleaning away mold or mildew yourself first, using bleach water, a stiff-bristled brush, gloves, and a protective mask. But if the mold is too extensive, too hard to reach (in an attic, cellar, or hard-to-access crevice), or continually reoccurs, it’s time to call in the professionals. Keep an emergency number for a reputable mold removal and remediation company, like RestorationElite, in your personal contacts book.

  1. Power Brownouts

Losing power for extended periods of time is potentially dangerous for anyone, but it is especially hard on children and on the elderly. You don’t want to needlessly risk your own safety and that of family by being taken by surprise by a brownout.

First of all, have a well thought out plan of action. Contact family and friends to let them know you’re safe. Check on the neighbors. Know where the nearest emergency shelter is located. But also be sure to keep such items as these ready at hand:

  • A gas-powered generator. Choose a model that has wheels and is lightweight and easy to move. And don’t forget to stay stocked up on fuel.
  • Electric indoor-grade space heaters, fans, and cooking equipment to run off your generator.
  • A battery-powered emergency radio, with an extra set of unused batteries.
  • Non-perishable food products and bottled water.
  • Warm clothes and blankets.
  • A back-up supply of basic medicines, any necessary prescription meds, and a first aid kit.
  • Candles and flashlights (with extra batteries).
  • Cash you can live on temporarily. ATMs and in-store card scanners may all be temporarily down.
  • Books, board games, or anything non-electronic that will make the time pass.
  1. Broken HVAC System

Especially in extreme climates and particularly for the elderly, having a heating or air conditioning system fail can be a serious or even life-threatening event (in conjunction with a power outage or natural disaster.)

Signs your HVAC unit may need a repair or need to be replaced include: it runs but with little production, it fails to consistently turn on, unusual sounds are emanating from the device, or the unit is leaking water. The last sign specifically calls for professional intervention.

  1. Gas Leaks

An unnoticed gas leak is an extreme danger. Fires, explosions, or gas poisoning are all possibilities, depending on the type of gas, quantity of gas, and what the gas comes into contact with.

If you even suspect you smell gas, move quickly to shut off your gas supply at the meter, open up doors/windows to create ventilation, and shut down all electrical devices. Next, call a licensed gas fitter to inspect your home, detect and eliminate any gas leaks.

  1. Locked Out

While it might be surprising, around a third of U.S. adults have been locked out of their home at one point or another.It often happens when taking out the garbage or coming home from a night out on the town. About one in ten have been locked out while in their pajamas (or worse)!

Solutions include hiding a spare key in a potted plant, under a rock, or some other unsuspected location, giving your neighbor a spare key (if you trust him/her enough), and investing in a “smart lock” and always taking your smart phone with you.

  1. Damaged Roof

Roof repairs are easily among the most urgent of all home repairwork. Ice dams in the winter and clogged up gutters in the fall can push water up your roof and down through any leakage points.

If you spot even a small leak, attend to it quickly or call in a roofing contractor to help. An annual roof inspection with minor repairs will do much to prevent leaks and warn you when a new roof put on will have to be installed.

We’re aware that retirement translates to not having to worry so much anymore. However, planning out strategies to dealing with these emergencies will provide you with the much needed peace of mind.

Joshua Nelson is a super-connector with who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Joshua frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.

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About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.