How to prepare your building for reopening

Buildings will begin reopening after a long period of vacancy.

Some parts of the country are actually beginning to reopen already, and that means your building will return to its full occupancy.

Even in my own workplace, I have passed through rooms filled with cubicles and only one or two people sat in any of them. When we can finally return to our full occupancy after many weeks, it will be a major change within the building.


Health officials in Wisconsin have warned that stagnant water in the buildings that have been closed for weeks could be a breeding ground for bacteria and potential pathogens, such as Legionella, according to an NBC15 report.

If your building has been closed for a long period of time, or even if your occupancy has just been lower than normal, be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure your facility’s water is safe. You will need to flush stagnant from both the hot and cold water systems in your building to get fresh, chlorinated water in.

While you are preparing your building for a return to full occupancy, ensure that your water heater is properly maintained and that the temperature is set properly. It is important that you do not turn your water heater off because water temperature is necessary to prevent microorganisms from growing in the water.

Flush pipes in your facility to refresh the water supply and restore an adequate disinfectant residual. Water needs to run through each line of use for a minimum of 10 minutes. The most important systems to flush to prevent sickness include drinking fountains, ice machines, kitchen sink sprayers, showers and any other area where people may drink water or prepare food.

If you are running a facility with a gym, in a hotel, or other area that would have a spa or hot tub, check with your local regulatory agency prior to allowing people to resume regular use. The CDC provides information on disinfecting procedures and other information for safely managing hot tub and spa water.


After cleaning drinking fountains, showers, and other high-priority systems, be sure to clean all decorative water features as well. Decorative features include water fountains and other features that may have built up a slime or biofilm.

First, read any manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning and care for your building’s decorative water systems. Then, use a good all-purpose cleaner like the 360 Surface Cleaner to remove any grease, oils, wax, or anything else. The 360 Surface Cleaner is an industrial-strength cleaner, it is non-toxic, non-abrasive and successfully gets surfaces cleaned without the use of any harmful chemicals.

You can stop people from entering a room that you are in the process of cleaning or have just successfully cleaned by using magnetic door barriers. The banners are lightweight, easy to use and connect in seconds. Exceptionally strong magnets are integrated at each end, so there’s no twisting, pulling or stretching involved.


If your building has had stagnant water for a long period of time, chances are that it brought an odor along with it. After you have taken the necessary steps to ensure your facility’s water is safe for tenants to use, the next step is to take care of that smell.

The Whiff Wizard is a product newly introduced by Best Plumbing Specialties this month. It will effectively take care of any lingering odors in your facility.  This is an environmentally safe set-it-and-forget-it solution to foul odors.

When the Whiff Wizard is placed near an offending odor, its powerful charcoal-infused formula will absorb surface and airborne odor for up to 90 days. Simply open the lid to the Whiff Wizard’s container and set it near any odors.

Remember that performing routine maintenance will provide a clear answer to any concerns that may come up about your building’s water. Continue to check water temperatures, pH levels, and disinfectant levels so that you can maintain confidence in your building’s water.

Building reopening is inevitable and everything will be back up and running eventually. When your building finally reopens, ensure its done with water safety in mind.

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