Building Demolition 101: Types And Tips That You Should Know

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For many design and construction companies, demolition is one of the fastest and most exciting parts of a building project. Why? It is because when you finish demolishing the old structure, a new home or office could rise on the same spot. 

Small to medium residential buildings can go down and be removed from the location in one to two days. But if the project is a thorough remodeling, where some parts of the structure are left, the demolition can take more or less a week. Do note that it is common for this process to be messy, but contractors can always make it organized through smart strategies. 

Moreover, building and demolition experts check on various factors when they decide the method to demolish a building. These factors include: 

• Location of the building: Is it in an urban or rural area? 
• The materials used to construct the old building: Is it mainly made of concrete, wood, or metal? 
• The purpose of the demolition 
• The C&D disposal of the debris 

4 Common Building Demolition Methods

There are four typical ways that demolition contractors do to put down a building. It can be through blasting in unpopulated areas or slow piece-by-piece removal in crowded streets. Still, any of these methods must be carefully executed to ensure the safety of the demolition crew, passers-by, and even nearby buildings. 

1. Wrecking Ball 

Wrecking ball demolition is one of the longest-running methods of building demolition. This method is typical for concrete and other masonry structures. The wrecking ball is suspended on a cable from a crane or other heavy equipment. The hanging ball is either dropped or swung towards the building to crush the building with repeated blows until it is put to rubble. 

The ball weighs between 12,000 - 15,000 pounds. Such weight thrown over repeatedly towards a structure ensures its demise. Also know as crane and ball demolition, highly experienced and skilled crane operators are the only ones allowed to operate on a wrecking ball demolition. 

2. High Reach Arm 

This method is used on buildings reaching the height of 66 feet. It involves a base machine, such as an excavator, fitted with either a long demolition arm made of three sections or a telescopic boom. A piece of demolition equipment, such as a crusher, shears, or a hammer, is attached to the end of the arm.  It is to tear the building from top to bottom. 

This method lets the machine remove large parts of the building, and a specific grounds crew breaks it down into smaller pieces and sorts them for removal and disposal. Demolition with a high-reach arm method is a preferred method for materials with metal, reinforced concrete, stonework, and mixed-material structures and is considered to be safer than traditional methods such as the wrecking ball demolition for removing tall buildings. 

3. Implosion 

Implosion is by far the most dramatic yet expensive way to demolish a building. This method involves using a large number of explosives to knock down the structure targeting the main structural supports of the building, causing the building to collapse onto itself from the inside out. The critical part of this method is the placement of explosive charges and the sequence of detonation. Such must be done with specific accuracy to attain successful and safe demolition. The method Implosion is often used to demolish large structures located in urban areas. 

4. Selective Method 

Selective demolition, also known as strip-out, is the most popular way of doing the demolition. It allows builders to salvage or recycle the building’s old materials. Selective either the interior or exterior material such as wood, brick, metals allow for re-use in new structures. This method permits you to recover the maximum amount of reusable and recyclable material in a safe and cost-effective process. 

Tips For A Successful Demolition Project

The key to being successful in any project is to know and understand what to do and also research useful tips from experts that you might apply. Here are some pointers that you should consider when accomplishing your demolition project. 

Do Not Do DIY

Find a reliable demolition company. As much as a DIY might seem cheaper, it may do more harm than good. Without proper tools, equipment, and expertise, a demolition project may take longer and is riskier. 

File For Permits

Demolition, as in any US state, needs permits before you can start the process. Remember, sometimes, building inspectors visit sites for confirmation. Without legal papers, you may need to pay significant money for a fine. 

Let The Home Or Building Owner Inform The Neighbors 

Demolition activities are extremely noisy and may cause disturbance when done near communities. 

Do Not Go Inside The Building During An Ongoing Demolition 

The risk of debris and rubble falling is high. Plus, demolition means a considerable amount of dust! 

Stop And Seek Expert Advice When Needed 

Sometimes, there are specific buildings where you need to seek advice from demolition experts who have a better experience than you. Particularly in remodeling projects, there is sometimes hidden (and surprising) stuff on the walls of old buildings. 

Know How To Dispose Of The Debris 

The C&D disposal post-demolition is critical. You can also be amazed at what items and materials can be under the recycling bin. Cabinets, windows, and other wooden fixtures and furniture in good condition may even be sold. In any case, find a reliable C&D disposal provider who knows how to properly handle debris and rubble. 

Takeaway Thought On Doing Demolition

A building demolition project proves that things can be reinvented into something better. A demolition may mean removal, but for most projects, new construction or plan is set to replace the old. But, keep in mind that this process is not as easy as it may seem. You need ample amounts of information, experience, tools, and equipment to make demolishing successful. From planning, permits, to disposal, you must learn the basics. It is better to find expert providers in your area that can help you execute an effective and safe demolition project.

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