Home repair workers expect surge in calls during stay-at-home order

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. — There is little rest for home repair workers during Washington’s stay-at-home order.

“We work until the job is done. As busy as the schedule gets, we’ll handle it.”

If things keep up, M.J. Johnson will likely be coming to a home near you.

These days, the proud plumber is spending a lot of time around the home -- other people’s homes, that is.

“Life is just kinda going on for (home fixers), especially with everybody being home,” he told KIRO 7 News.

Johnson’s work is likely to pick up.

With tens of thousands of more people at home because of the shutdown, the call volume for home fixers is expected to surge.

“One house has a toilet repair. It’s not going to be the same as the next house that tells you they have a similar problem,” Johnson said.

Plumbing, electrical work and H-Vac repairs are all businesses that will stay open these next two weeks.

For Johnson and his boss, Mike Marinez, the job is the same as it’s always been, even if their working environment is very different.

“We go to wherever the problem area is inside the home and (homeowners) stay in another section of the house, so people have been really aware of social distancing and really cool with that,” Marinez said.

To keep customers safe, Johnson and Marinez take extra precautions.

Everything is wiped down, and exposure is kept to a minimum.

“I make sure everything is sanitized,” Marinez said. “We always have latex gloves, always have the mask on, so we’re not transmitting anything.”

“In this industry, you come across a lot in our day to day before the virus is even here. We have to be extremely careful.” Johnson said.