Answering the Big Questions About Demolition

As a species, we as humans are usually more apt to create than to destroy, but sometimes destruction is a necessary part of a process to build something new and something better. This specific process is known as demolition. What is demolition? You likely have an idea, but you might also have some questions about the demolition process.

This article will strive to answer some frequently asked questions and bigger questions about demolition. By the end, if someone were to ask you, “What is demolition?” you should be able to give them a clear and succinct answer.

What is demolition?

Demolition is a complex process that involves dismantling a structure, clearing the building site, performing environmental remediation and salvaging and recycling any leftover materials. This process can be used on commercial and residential buildings, and there can be partial or full-scale demolition projects.

It’s a very complex procedure that requires experienced professionals, special equipment and extensive training in order to be completed safely and effectively.

Is there a difference between deconstruction and demolition?

Yes—deconstruction is a much more precise and time-consuming process than demolition, with the main goal of being able to salvage most of the building’s parts. The deconstruction process is very much what it sounds like, as technicians basically perform construction in reverse, using hand tools to individually dismantle and eventually remove all the pieces of the building.

What will happen to the materials after a demolition is finished?

If the materials are salvageable, reusable or recyclable, they will be gathered up and taken to the proper facilities in trucks. About 90 percent of the materials from a demolition can be salvaged, reused or recycled, including materials like metals, insulation, carpet, ceiling tiles, flooring, wiring or conduit. You can even salvage exterior building materials like brick, porcelain or concrete.

What if there’s hazardous materials involved?

Depending on the age and purpose of the building being demolished, you might need someone to dispose of hazardous materials as part of the demolition process.

An older building (one built before the 1980s) might contain asbestos, and that needs to be addressed before the building can be safely demolished. Hazmat teams will have to go through and remove any asbestos before demolition can begin in earnest.

If the building being demolished is an old industrial building like an oil refinery or a chemical plant, then a specially certified team of workers will go through and assess the presence and threat of hazardous materials. They will then formulate a plan to remove those hazardous materials, making sure to dispose of them safely and responsibly.

Isn’t demolition harmful to the environment?

Not really—many people who work in the demolition industry live by the principles of environmental stewardship. Those who demolish buildings typically also live in the surrounding community, so they have a vested interest in improving it.

And because buildings being demolished are often old, hazardous or unsafe, performing demolition on them is a tangible method of improving the environment and the community as a whole. Demolition experts also conduct environmental remediation, which is the removing of contaminants from the building site and surrounding area, which allows new land to be developed.

Call for help with your demolition project today

If you have any more specific questions about demolition that you’d like to have answered, feel free to call Randy Roan Construction, Inc. We’re the industry experts when it comes to demolition, and we’d love to talk to you today about your next demolition project.