Good Demolition Practices: What To Watch For

By: Gustavo Mckay

Demolition services follow a set of rules and practices that allow for the most efficient demolition. The cost of raising a structure is not cheap so getting it right the first time around is crucial. It also minimises risk to surroundings.

Demolition has become comparatively easier with the use of advanced machinery. Even high-rises can be destroyed with a minimum of fuss. This gives building contractors and developers more time to set the ground for construction. Certain practices, however, can speed up the process even more so if you're keeping an eye on proceedings, these are points to watch out for.

Determining what's behind or under a surface

Good demolition experts will find out what's behind or under a surface prior to destroying it. Objects like live electrical wires can pose a risk to machinery and workers while building materials such as asbestos can unleash potentially dangerous particles into the air and cause negative health conditions.

Determining what stays hidden will give experts the tools to know if additional precautions need to be taken so if you don't see this being done, ask that it is.

Using safety gear

All demolition professionals are required to don protective gear because the particulates released can cause adverse health conditions. Aside from clothing and footwear, the use of HEPA respirators is necessary when dealing with potentially dangerous materials like asbestos. A dust mask should be worn when handling non-hazardous materials.

When scouting for demolition services, enquire after their safety policies. If you're observing the demolition, look to see if the workers are appropriately garbed. Ensure that you're not held responsible for any accidents or health scare by insisting to see liability insurance, workers' insurance etc. Services are always insured but it's your responsibility to confirm it.

Using up-to-date tools

Like all industries, demolition relies on technology and the more advanced the equipment, the faster work can get done. High-tech machines cost more to operate and drive up the cost of demolitions and so are typically used in cases where speed is a factor. However, even if advanced technology is not applied, the equipment used must be up-to-date and should comply with state and federal safety rules. It'll also reduce the risk of accidents.

Types of demolition works

Demolition contractors undertake different types of work aside from total and partial demolition. Asbestos removal and materials/debris removal are others. Certain contractors also undertake earthmoving work and waste management so if these are areas that need to be covered, it's convenient hiring one contractor for several jobs. It's cheaper too.

Aspects of a competent contractor

Contractors projecting impossibly low costs are out to swindle you by delivering less than satisfactory results. It's also wise to go with one whose estimates lie somewhere in the middle or higher figures as you can be more certain that the work will be up-to-the-mark. Portfolios of past projects also give a good idea of the quality of work but since images can sometimes be deceiving, it's good to speak with former clients and visit the sites of past projects.

Note that contractors who are members of related trade organisations or governing bodies tend to stick to higher standards and keep up with advances in demolition equipment and practices. You may want to factor this into your list of criteria.

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