5 Challenges Demolition Contractors Face When it Comes to Steel & Concrete Structures

steel-beamsMany of the cities in the Pacific Northwest are experiencing a construction boom. As demand for space grows, property development companies are repurposing plots of land that already have structures on them. This means demolition companies are being called upon to ensure the space is appropriately prepared for new construction.

With each project comes a set of challenges that demolition contractors face. Each project requires a thorough understanding of the building’s environment and the structure itself. The demolition requires a detailed plan, which includes choosing the right equipment and determining the demolition services required for the job

How Demolition Services are Determined

There are five top challenges that demolition companies must overcome if they are to best serve Oregon’s land developers.

1. The Demolition Site’s Environment

A demolition contractor must understand the surrounding environment and the topography of the building site. The geographic location and soil composition, as well as things like wind and weather patterns, have to be taken into consideration before the project begins. These factors are major contributors to a project’s success and will influence what tools and techniques are used in the demolition.

The area surrounding the building to be demolished must be studied so that nearby structures are not damaged. If there is not sufficient space between buildings, factors like noise, vibration, dust, and debris can seriously damage buildings close to the site. 


Other factors to be considered include traffic patterns, draining conditions, building codes, and any local laws or regulations regarding demolition practices. 

2. Consideration of Structural Materials 

Naturally, the building itself must be studied to ensure that the right tools and techniques are used during demolition. Being knowledgeable about the method of construction, the materials used in construction, and building codes help determine what tools to use. Hazardous materials may also need to be identified and removed by specialists. These could include asbestos, radioactive substances, flammable materials, and petroleum contamination.

Buildings are built according to a variety of codes, standards, and techniques that each require their own demolition solution. Any kind of real estate development or land development will require a full understanding of what is allowed by state and local laws during demolition and construction.

One example is that buildings constructed to serve different purposes are generally composed of different materials. A residential home may be composed primarily of wood and brick, while an apartment complex may be mostly reinforced concrete, and a commercial building constructed of steel. Each will require its own demolition method assessed by the demolition contractor.

3. The Need for a Detailed Demolition Services Plan

Next, the demolition contractor will take all of these factors into consideration and create a detailed demolition plan. The plan will include services necessary for the demolition project, how it will be carried out, what tools and equipment will be used, and how much debris will need to be cleaned up and/or recycled. 

The plan will factor in the need to minimize inconveniences that stem from the demolition process. This pre-planning ensures that the job moves safely and successfully forward. Not only must the building be removed, but the consequences of each stage of demolition must be considered as well. A complete understanding of the demolition process is needed to ensure a successful job.

4. Having the Appropriate Demolition Equipment

To provide real estate developers in Oregon with the best service possible, a demolition company must be able to employ a variety of demolition service techniques to tackle challenges from multiple angles. This is made possible by having state-of-the-art demolition equipment.

High-Reach Excavators

Due to the versatility of high-reach excavators, Elder Demolition is equipped to dismantle buildings in a short period of time and at a lower cost. The machines can selectively prune the building, adapt quickly to the needs of the project, and reduce noise and debris. 

Concrete Crusher

Concrete crushers are a key piece of equipment for the breaking down and recycling of concrete. Concrete makes up about 80% of most buildings and accounts for 25% of waste found in city landfills. By breaking down large pieces of concrete on-site, the crushed concrete can then be sold  to make more concrete, provide fill for landscaping, pipe bedding, stabilizing soil, and more. 

Specialty Processing Equipment

steel-structureSometimes a job calls for special tools to break down and disassemble a building. Shears, hammers, crushers, and other high-end machinery can turn a building into parts that can be recycled or sold. 

Hammers and breakers are great at breaking up materials like brick, asphalt, and concrete. Shears are used to cut through objects like steel columns or break down scrap metal into smaller pieces. Magnets are perfect for pulling steel and other ferrous metals from a demolition site.

5. Recycling and Reusing Building Materials

Increasingly, many real estate developers are finding recycling used building materials as an effective way to recoup some of the costs of demolition. 

By including asset recovery to your demolition project, you add a valuable source of revenue which can help offset the costs of construction. Some examples of what Elder Demolition salvages include pipes, windows, wiring, concrete, metal, fixtures, and bricks.

Oregon Real Estate Developers Use Elder’s Demolition Services 

Elder Demolition has the expertise and equipment to bring down any building in a cost-effective, efficient, and safe manner. We are known for our demolition expertise all around the northwest, from Spokane, Washington to Montana, Idaho, and Portland, Oregon.

We offer a variety of demolition services that are sure to help developers in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest efficiently complete their projects. Contact us today!

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