How do you Prepare and Protect your Hotel During a Prolonged Shut Down?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

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Here are some tips from Liberty Building Forensics Group: 

Indoor air quality 

  1. Personal hygiene of the workers is important during incident response. Make sure personnel are healthy and clean and not introducing germs into the building.
  2. Make sure all cleaning products are re-sealed after use. Don’t leave open chemical containers that could build up odors/concentrations in the air.


  1. Reduce building exhaust as much as possible in order to minimize building depressurization and moisture problems. This includes turning OFF centralized exhaust fans that serve guest room baths.
  2. Maintain operation of the HVAC system. Keeping the HVAC system ON  (in conjunction with these other recommendations) can minimize the amplification of microbial growth when the indoor room relative humidity is maintained at 60 percent or less with the thermostats set to 72 to 75℉. Whenever possible, reduce outdoor air dampers on air handling systems to the minimum or closed position in order to keep the building at a neutral to slightly positive pressure.
  3. Close manual volume dampers on guest room PTAC or VTAC units to minimize a pathway for infiltration and reduce indoor moisture levels.
  4. Continue normal periodic maintenance requirements on all operating systems regardless of occupancy.

Plumbing system

  1. Domestic hot water systems should be turned off and drained to minimize stagnation and the potential for bacterial growth (e.g. legionella, etc), and leaching of metals from piping.

In future postings: Tips on How to Reopen a Hotel, which is as important as preparing and protecting a hotel during a prolonged shut down.

Information provided by Donald B. Snell, P.E., CMC, CIEC (d​​) and Nate Sanders, CIH (​ of Liberty Building Forensics Group.