While you’re probably ready to reopen your business after the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some precautions to take in order to keep yourself, your employees and your business safe. A temporary shutdown automatically means your plumbing system is not being used as much. At first, this may seem like no big deal or even an easy method of saving some funds. However, an inactive plumbing system, even for just a month, can create a hazard for you and your business. It’s a good idea to check for these hazards before reopening your business after a shutdown.
Look for Water Damage
If your plumbing system had a hidden, unaddressed leak, a prolonged shutdown could mean that quite a bit of water has seeped out, causing damage to your property. Water damage could also be a sign of non plumbing related problems, such as a leaky roof. Regardless, water damage can in turn create other problems such as becoming a breeding ground for mold.
Check for Mold and control humidity
Mold is another common problem. It thrives in damp environments and can grow on various and sometimes surprising, surfaces such as floors, walls, underneath tables, on cushions, inside lamp fixtures, on insulation and even in your AC units. It comes in various sizes, colors and can spread maliciously. Needless to say mold can be detrimental to your health and business and if it is found on your property it should be addressed immediately, starting at the source of the water entry.
According to the CDC you should maintain indoor humidity as low as possible, not exceeding 50%, as measured with a humidity meter.
Be aware of risks created by stagnant water
Stagnant water in your pipes can be especially dangerous if you have lead pipes. Water that stands still in a lead pipe encourages corrosion and poses a much higher risk of leaching and contaminating the water, making it toxic. This is also true for copper pipes that can corrode and leak into your water.
Legionella, on the other hand, is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious type of pneumonia. This bacteria is found in water and soil and is usually harmless. However, when it grows and spreads in poorly maintained water systems, cooling towers, heaters, ventilation and air conditioning systems, it can become a deathly hazard. Specifically this can be the case scenario for establishments such as restaurants and hotels. Faucets, shower heads, tubs and even fountains can develop this bacteria and easily come into human contact if not treated with care.
To avoid these hazards when you’re reopening your business, get your water lines professionally flushed to thoroughly remove bacteria and all impurities.
Check up on your Water Heater and Safety Equipment
Because your water heater is meant to store a lot of water, it should also receive your attention before your business begins to operate. If your water heater was operating even during shutdown, it should have been set to 140F to prevent any bacteria from developing inside. However, running such hot water can cause scalding and therefor should be adjust back down to 120F prior to use. Your water heater may also benefit from a complete drain, something that a professional plumber will be able to advise with and perform to ensure your fixtures are in good condition.
Your safety equipment includes your fire sprinkler systems, eye wash stations and safety showers which should be flushed, cleaned and disinfected before being used.
Re-opening your business after a prolonged shutdown can be both an exciting and nerve wracking experience. Here at VIP Sewer & Drain Services we understand the predicament you may be facing. Our trained, experienced and friendly professionals are here to walk you through the process and ensure your plumbing system and fixtures are ready to be back in business!