Necessary Precautions to Consider When Reopening Your Business After a Long Shutdown

If your business has been closed for an extended period during the COVID-19 crisis, there are some precautions that we would like you to consider, before fully opening your place again, in order to help you avoid future problems. Therefore, we want to share a few tips that apply to almost any business but are mostly focused on the hospitality business.

Tip #1

STAGNANT WATER

Water that has been resting inside pipes, appliances, or plumbing fixtures is no longer fresh and should not be consumed or used for cleaning or cooking. Water gradually loses chlorination, allowing harmful organisms to grow. This includes pathogens like tuberculous mycobacteria and Legionella, which are responsible for Legionnaire's Disease. We recommend that all cold and hot water lines be flushed for an extended period to ensure that all impurities are out of each system and only fresh, potable water remains. But it’s not just a matter of running the faucets for a little while, there’s an order of operations that needs to be followed to ensure maximum effectiveness. An experienced commercial plumber will be familiar with the processes if your maintenance staff isn’t. There are similar risks for hotels and motels. Showerheads that haven’t seen recent use may contain Legionella bacteria. Hot tubs that haven’t been properly maintained may also support Legionella, which can be spread through water jets. Even decorative fountains could present a risk since bacteria can grow in warm areas and splashing can spread Legionella. If the building has a cooling tower, it must be inspected and probably disinfected, or it too can spread and spray Legionella and other organisms. We recommend that you check your municipal water utility’s website for guidance that may be unique to your city or county.

Tip #2

IS WATER DAMAGE

Water damage that occurred during the shutdown, thanks to a leak or backup, could put your staff and customers at risk. Water-soaked carpeting and furniture represent a danger and should be removed by a qualified water damage cleanup company that can extract water, dry out the building, and prepare it for reconstruction or put back.

Tip #3

WATER HEATER

Was the water heater operational during the closure? Is the temperature high enough to kill pathogens (140° F) but does it also have a mixing valve to bring the temperature down to 120° Fahrenheit as it flows to sinks, tubs, and showers to prevent scalding? These are but a few things you’ll need to consider. Once again, an experienced plumber will know how to inspect the water heater to reduce risk.

Tip #4

LOOK FOR MOLD

Wherever there is dampness and high moisture, mold is sure to grow. Mold will grow on all kinds of surfaces and can present a health risk to employees and customers. It could even be present in your HVAC system and could begin spreading airborne spores as soon as you turn on the air conditioning. The CDC recommends operating the HVAC system for at least 48-72 hours before occupants return to work in the building. If odors are still present, contact a mold remediation company and/or an experienced heating and air company.

JCN Plumbing is a Commercial and Residential plumbing company, with about 20 years of experience. If you need help with your plumbing, or if you recently reopened your business and found plumbing issues you didn’t know about before closing, contact us for a Free Estimate. We are licensed and insured.

Call Today: (305) 770-6860