Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Preparation: Unexpected Home Expenses

English: Lowe's Home Improvement Center #487 w...
English: Lowe's Home Improvement Center #487 with a Lowe's rental truck on display outside at 1801 Fordham Boulevard in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last year I had planned to go on a trip, but changed my mind at the last minute. We had been through a week of rain and then Superstorm Sandy arrived here. All that rain was too much for my sump pump and it gave out. If I had left on the trip as planned, the sump pump situation might not have been noticed for some time. I was glad I was here to handle it. Fortunately, this sump pump problem has happened before, so I was prepared.

As discussed in a previous post, I have everything in my basement in plastic tubs. That way if a water event happens, my possessions are protected. All file cabinets and the table are placed on several tiles. When the sump pump fails, the water comes up and goes out the drain. Nothing in the basement is damaged.

When the sump pump first failed years ago, my wonderful neighbors were creative and devised a great plan. They purchased a pond pump and attached tubing to it and the device pumped the water into the basement drain until I came home. In dealing with this situation last October, I used the pond pump to handle the water until I could purchase a new sump pump.

I wanted to make sure I had a way to purchase anything my neighbors or house sitters would need for my home if a problem occurred while I was on a trip. I went to Lowe's and we came up with a great plan. For example, if the pump had gone out while I was away, I would have gone on lowes.com and paid for another pump using my Lowe's store card. Putting the pump for pickup under my neighbor's name, I could pay for the necessary item and he did not have to use his own money. This solution gives me great peace of mind.

As most vacationers do, I always try to anticipate what might go wrong in the house while I am away on a trip. Most travelers will tell the people who are watching the house to call them if a problem occurs, but they may not think about how to pay for that solution. Taking a few minutes to figure out remedies for potential problems before departure on a vacation can save a lot of stress later.
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