Why You Shouldn’t Do Demolition by Yourself
Successful demolition needs a systematic approach. It requires a team effort between many individuals who all have responsibilities and who have the proper skill and knowledge to carry out the work safely.
The proper tools and equipment should also be used to ensure that the demolition is done efficiently and everyone involved will not be injured. Any demolition project needs careful planning and plenty of attention and foresight.
It is best to hire a professional to be sure not to overlook any aspect of the demolition project. A simple error in DIY demolition can cost you more than the initial amount of money you will spend on hiring a professional demolition contractor.
Related: How Does a Building Get Demolished?
DIY Demolition Isn’t for Everyone
You might think that DIY demolition will save you some money because you will not need to spend on hiring costs.
However, if you want to be successful in DIY demolition, there are many factors to DIY demolition you need to consider.
Not all demolition projects can be done on your own. According to HGTV, here are some DIY demolition projects that can be done on your own:
- Decks lower than 6 feet
- Trim and doors
- Windows, if you can reach them safely
- Landscape features
- Small trees and bushes
- Some mold
According to the same source, these are demolition projects that should be done by a professional demolition contractor:
- Roofing and siding
- Decks more than 6 feet
- Natural gas
- Asbestos, lead, and some mold
Landscape structures such as garages and sheds
- Anything over one story
There are also needed tools and equipment to be able to successfully carry out a demolition project if you plan to do it yourself.
Power tools like:
- a reciprocating saw
- a circular saw
- rotary or jackhammers
- cordless drill
- angle grinder, and air cleaner
- along with other hand tools are necessary
Remember your main purpose in demolition and to leave as little repair and as many fingers as possible after doing the job.
Disadvantages of Demolition of Buildings
Any type of demolition, whether big or small, should be carefully planned to avoid more costly damage and injuries or accidents.
Individuals who perform demolition should possess relevant skills, knowledge, and experience to prevent and minimize the effects of these key risks during a demolition:
1. Falls from height
Anyone who performs demolition projects knows pretty well that workers can get heavily injured from falling from edges, through openings, fragile surfaces, and partially demolished floors.
Buildings that need to be demolished carry all these risks and they have to be thoroughly assessed to prevent the risk of falling from height.
2. Injury from falling materials
Buildings that need to be demolished have weak structures and workers and passers-by can be victims of injury and premature and uncontrolled collapse of these structures during a demolition job.
Professional demolition contractors are able to mitigate these risks by performing these tasks:
- Establishing exclusion zones and hard-hat areas, clearly marked and
- with barriers or hoardings if necessary
- Covered walkways
- Using high-reach machines
- Reinforcing machine cabs so that drivers are not injured
- Training and supervising site workers
3. Uncontrolled collapse
There may be instances when structures can collapse uncontrollably.
These are foreseen and unforeseen instances where there can be added injury during the demolition process.
Professional demolition contractors will prevent these instances from happening by conducting a thorough structural survey before the demolition.
They have been trained on how to consider all needed factors and to know the structural integrity of a building.
- The age of the building
- Its previous use
- The type of construction
- The nearby buildings or structures
- The weight of removed material or machinery on floors above ground level
4. Risks from connected services
Utility services like gas, electricity, water, and telecommunications, can pose risks during building demolition. These services will need to be isolated or disconnected to prevent injury and accidents.
5. Traffic management
Building demolition is a huge undertaking. It will most often cause traffic or congestion if not properly planned.
Hence, it is crucial that an effective traffic management system be put in place on-site. Part of this is the need to provide visual aids and use zero tail swing machines.
6. Hazardous materials
Many buildings that are candidates for demolition have hazardous materials that can cause contamination and health risks. These include:
- Respirable crystalline silica (RCS)
- Acids from industrial processes
- Flammable liquids
- Unidentified drums
- Microbiological hazards (in old hospital buildings)
7. Noise and vibration
Many building demolitions can cause noise and vibration that can both be risky for workers and nearby property owners.
Workers in the demolition area who are exposed to loud noise can experience permanent damage to their hearing.
Noise can also pose a safety risk especially when workers are not able to communicate effectively or when noise disrupts them from hearing warning signals.
Vibration from extensive use of demolition equipment can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in workers.
Demolition involves the use of many tools that generate spark and heat. There may be instances where old structures can easily catch fire from the use of these tools.
Hence, it is important that there are escape routes and an effective way to raise the alarm in case of fire.
9. Worker involvement
Because demolitions are risky, there is a need for conscious worker involvement. This means that workers need to be involved in decision-making because they are the ones at risk.
Building Demolition With a Professional Demolition Contractor
The demolition process is committed to one purpose: a safe and environmentally-sound demolition.
A professional demolition contractor like Big Easy Demolition knows how to carry out this process efficiently with careful surveying, removal of hazardous material, and preparing a demolition plan for the building.
We will consider value engineering to reduce demolition costs and to make sure that the property will be prepared for the next phase of your construction project if needed. Careful procedures will be followed correctly with the utmost safety precautions.
Working with a professional demolition contractor will prevent injury, the uncontrolled collapse of structures, and unintentional damage.
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