Plumbing Precautions When Reopening a Business After a Prolonged Shutdown

Business owner turning open sign on the front door

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on our economy due to many businesses closing and others reducing their operating hours. To prevent permanent closures or bankruptcies, some business owners have chosen to reopen. Whereas reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus is a top priority, there are other problems and dangers associated with reopening. Businesses should be aware of the condition of their plumbing, as water that has gone unmonitored for months yields risks and dangers even without the presence of a pandemic.

1. A business's water pipes should be thoroughly tested.

Stagnant water attracts a variety of harmful microbes and bacteria, and businesses that have been closed for several months are likely to have pipes that have accumulated dangerous microbes. If left untreated, the pipes can transmit these microbes to the businesses' employees and customers. Inspecting and cleaning pipes are one of the many services that Plumbv offers.

2. After a long closure, a business should inspect their water heater.

There are multiple factors to consider, such as ensuring that the water heater can reach the minimum temperature — 140 degrees Fahrenheit — to eliminate harmful microbes. A water heater that no longer operates safely can expose the business to burns or infection. Therefore, we recommend that reopening businesses have their water heaters inspected.

3. The business should inspect their property for any signs of water damage.

A period of weeks or months is plenty of time for a minor leak to turn into a serious problem such as soaked carpets, rotting wood, rusty metals, and de-lamination of materials and surfaces. An inspection of the business's plumbing can detect and reveal water-damaged areas. And the best way to ensure that water damage is thoroughly and properly fixed is to hire a certified water damage restoration specialist.

4. The business property should be inspected for mold.

Exposure to mold can cause a variety of health problems, and water that has accumulated for weeks or months facilitates the growth of mold. Mold can grow virtually anywhere, but it can be especially dangerous if mold is present in a business's HVAC system. Activating an HVAC system with mold can spread spores throughout the entire area. One way to prevent this from happening is to run the HVAC system continuously for 72 hours and ensure that there are no unusual odors or other signs of mold. The EPA has several helpful guidelines and suggestions when it comes to handling mold.

The decision to reopen should not be taken lightly, and there are several factors to consider to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Water damage and infections should be treated and repaired before the business reopens. This should not be treated as an optional expenditure of time and money, as illnesses and injuries can be even more costly to a reopening company. Plumbv has the experience and expertise to inspect properties, clean plumbing, and treat water damage. Contact us to schedule an inspection so we can make sure that your grand reopening is free of water-related complications.

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