So, I finally got sick this past weekend (first weekend of February). I tried so hard, for so long, to stave off the sickness my loving mate and toddler had acquired from who-knows-where (I mean, we wipe the handles of the shopping carts down, for crying out loud). As a home inspector, being sick is never fun. You don’t “feel” like working, but you can’t just postpone the inspection – the clients and all involved parties are on a deadline. That deadline does not revolve around my world as a WIN franchise owner. Quite the contrary. Couple this with the dread of potentially getting clients sick onsite, or spreading the germs at the home I’m inspecting, and being sick becomes overly complicated (not to mention managing the boogers, the coughing, the medicine, at each home to be inspected for the day).
Now, as humans, we force ourselves into other people's bubbles each time we choose to go to the store, or go clothes shopping, or root around an antique shop on a rainy weekend. Our germs transfer readily and freely on countless surfaces throughout each and every day. And, yes, those surfaces include our face and mouth. However, as the owner of WIN Home Inspection Cookeville, I feel it incumbent to try and provide a high level of service to my clients and those other parties involved. Sometimes this translates to feeling like I need to be in one of those self-containing ecosystem bubbles (Bubble Boy, anyone?).
In my inspecting, there are those aspects of homes that also fall into a similar category – choosing to do something in order to offer a higher level of safety. For example, in our Upper Cumberland region, water heaters in garage locations never have a bollard installed (Tell Me about it, Wikipedia). A bollard, usually concrete or metal, is simply a vertical piece of material that is bolted to the floor in front of the water heater in order to provide some low-end protection from possible vehicular contact. In the right mixture of variables, a vehicle hitting a water heater could end with explosive consequences. The bollard, as a function, takes minimal materials and minimal installation (it gets bolted to most concrete floors). Yet, most home owners in the middle Tennessee market don’t install them. For some, it’s simply not knowing. For most, it’s not caring (after all, there’s no one around to force their hand in the matter).
Taking a not-caring-attitude toward home safety is never the wise choice over time. Murphy’s Law says, in laymen’s terms, stuff is going to happen. If we are prepared, we stand a good chance of mitigating the scope of said “stuff.” For me and this horrid head cold, I do what I can to mitigate getting sick. However, when I still get sick, I make sure I eat really well, go to bed early, and skip the gym (hello, how about a legitimate excuse to skip the gym …) so as to give my body the best chance of a speedy recovery. However, even sick, I must inspect homes for my clients. It’s irresponsible to not take those steps to mitigate the severity of my plague, particularly if it would mean having to cancel my inspections or exposing my clients to more germs than needed. The same is true for our homes. We should, within reason and reasonable cost, be making choices that limit the severity of a potential adverse issue – our homes are investments, as are the loved ones sharing the spaces. Nose tissue, anyone?