As industrial demolition contractors, we often think about how what we do can be applied to residential demolition. Similar trends are rolling through both types of demolition. Residential demolition contractors, Oregon to Alaska, are seeing more customer requests for green demolition, for instance. Municipal and state demolition standards are moving industrial contractors toward eco-friendly demolition as well. Consumers and government agencies alike are interested in deconstructing buildings in a more earth-friendly way. Therefore, green demolition techniques that work well in industrial settings may also prove helpful in residential deconstruction.
But that’s not the only arena connecting industrial and residential demolition. As industrial demolition experts, we’re offering the following tips for our residential counterparts:
Recycle as Much as Possible.
Sinks, toilets, steel, light fixtures, concrete, interior doors, wood beams, even drywall—all of these materials and many others may be recycled, rather than dumped into the local landfill. Disposal costs are often so high that it’s more economical to spend the labor needed to categorize recyclable materials on site, so that these materials may be sold later.
Ensure Proper Fall Protection.
Industrial demolition contractors often work at great heights and are aware of the real danger that fall hazards present. It’s obvious that special protection is required when working on dismantling a skyscraper. But residential demolition contractors should also take great care when working above ground level. When working near an open wall or hole with a potential fall of more than six feet, demolition contractors must wear full-body restraints. We recommend similar precautions for residential demolition work.
Prevent Exposure to Dangerous Building Materials.
Formaldehyde-laced wood dust. Synthetic mineral fibers. Lead paint chips. These words carry frightening connotations for industrial demolition contractors, and rightly so. All of these materials are dangerous to human health. The industrial demolition of power plants, nuclear facilities, and processing mills generally involves more noxious chemicals than tearing down a home. Still, lead paint, wood dust, and asbestos are present in many older homes, and it’s not unusual for residential contractors to find these materials when upgrading or demolishing older residences. We hope residential demolition contractors are cautious about hazardous material exposure, as we are when carrying out an industrial demolition project.
Sure, we work in different locations, and at different scales. But at the end of the day, residential and industrial demolition contractors have more in common than it might seem.
[Photo by: USDAgov via CC License]