When you need a residential building demolished, it's important to find a contractor who follows all the legal steps that are required for a safe demolition process. While taking shortcuts may seem convenient, it can result in costly legal consequences or even exposure to harmful materials such as asbestos.
As you seek to demolish an old building and replace it with something newer and more efficient, here are five best practices that you and your demolition contractor should follow.
1. It starts with covering all legal bases
Even before a single wall is brought down, the demolition process should be thoroughly planned out. You and your contractor should begin by applying for all legal permits necessary to bring down a home or residential building.
Most permits are issued by your local municipality, and they ensure that you've taken the required steps to contain debris, clean up the site and eliminate hazardous items.
2. Next comes environmental control
The soil and earth around your home will be most affected by the demolition process. Therefore, you need to take steps towards controlling soil erosion and the leaching of heavy metals. Each home will require unique measures based on size, the type of soil surrounding the home and the building materials that were used during construction.
Your contractor should be capable of inspecting the soil around your home so as to put safeguards in place against soil pollution.
3. Inspection for asbestos content
In line with environmental control measures, inspecting the home for asbestos content will be key towards preventing pollution. Any home that was built prior to the 1970s should be thoroughly inspected for asbestos content in many different parts of the premises.
Asbestos was used as an insulator in roofs, floors and window putty, among other areas. If your home has asbestos-containing materials, specific steps should be taken to safely remove such items before demolition.
4. Deactivating all electrical switches
Once the asbestos inspection has been completed, the next step is to remove all electrical switches and wiring from the home/building. The good thing is that these fixtures can be recycled for your new structure. Once removed, the home will be electrically safe to demolish.
5. Eliminating all hazardous material from the sight
With all precautions now safely put in place, the structure can be demolished. Your contractor will demolish the structure while safely disposing of any sharp or otherwise harmful items that may injure workers on the site. These items will be safely hauled away for disposal.