Blowing up or crushing whole buildings is usually what comes to mind when people think about demolition. However, it's not always necessary to take such drastic measures when removing a building (or parts of it). In fact, here are three times when it's better to take a more judicious approach and dismantle the structure piece by piece.
The Building Contains Hazardous or Banned Materials
Building codes change over time. What was considered perfectly safe material to use to build a home in one decade may be ruled dangerous in the next. Thus, it's not unusual to find buildings that still contain harmful substances, such as asbestos and lead paint. Thus, one time you may want to opt for selective demolition is when you know the building was made with dangerous or hazardous materials and need to dispose of them safely.
For instance, although many asbestos products were banned from use in building materials starting around 1973, some are still allowed. However, the material must be handled in a special way to prevent the harmful fibers that have been known to cause cancer from being released into the environment. Additionally, asbestos waste must be taken to a special landfill for disposal.
With selective demolition, workers will carefully remove the asbestos-treated materials. Package them according to the EPA's requirements and take them to the appropriate dumping ground. Thus, you avoid releasing harmful pollutants in the local environment and sidestep legal issues that may result if you mishandle this material.
It's important to note that not all demolition companies can handle all types of hazardous materials. Be sure to thoroughly discuss the issue with the demolition team to ensure they're able to handle your project.
You're Working on a Historical Building
Another time when deconstruction is more appropriate than regular demolition is when you're working on a historical building. These sites are designated as such because the local, state, or federal government want to ensure they remain preserved in their original condition as much as possible. Thus, you will be prohibited from taking any action that could destroy the building's character. If you do so, you could be hit with astronomical fines and made to pay the cost of repairing or replacing the structure.
Therefore, you definitely want to employ selective deconstruction services to ensure only the areas that are being worked on are dismantled. Instead of bulldozers and dynamite, workers will typically use handheld tools to remove walls, beams, and other items to avoid unfortunate and costly accidents.
An added benefit to using selective demolition in this context is you'll be able to preserve much of the material you remove, so you can reuse it for the current or future projects. For instance, deconstruction can save the building's unique crown molding, which you can reuse in the renovation rather than pay someone to remake it.
The Building is Heavily Fortified
A third time when selective demolition may be needed is when the structure is heavily fortified. Some buildings, particularly industrial ones, must be made with special highly durable materials and constructed in a way to prevent something from getting in or out or to adhere to stringent safety regulations. For example, a company that must store toxic materials may have their storage facilities fortified to prevent the toxins from escaping or being removed.
These buildings may be extremely difficult to demolish the normal way because they were built to withstand a certain amount of force. Thus, it may be necessary to have people remove the fortifications first before the rest of the building can be destroyed normally.
There are many other cases where it's better to opt for selective deconstruction. Contact a local demolition company, such as Alliance Demolition Services Inc, for more information about this and other demolition services.