Demolition cleanup involves dangerous procedures like asbestos removal, tree removal and hauling large debris off-site. Because of this, professional assistance is almost always a requirement when it comes to handling demolition waste. Professional demolition contractors are usually required to carry out this work safely and in line with the relevant government regulations.
To help you understand what’s involved in demolition cleanup, here is a brief overview of the process.
The cleanup process actually begins before any demolition occurs. An initial inspection is carried out by contractors so that they can note the size and the weight of the materials that they’ll be cleaning up. Knowing this information will allow the team to prepare the vehicles and tools that they’ll need for the job. For time management purposes, the contractors will also estimate the amount of debris that’s going to be generated once the building is demolished.
They’ll also look out for harmful substances that they might encounter during the process. This extra bit of planning will allow them to take the necessary safety precautions. This includes making sure the team wears proper PPE and ensuring that everyone has the adequate training to handle the substances appropriately.
Asbestos, for example, is a harmful substance that was prominently used in many Australian buildings in the decades leading up to the 1990s. If the workers inhale too much asbestos, they can develop asbestosis, pleural plaques and even malignant mesothelioma, a form of cancer.
Preparing the area
After the team has inspected the buildings, it’s time to prepare the area. Sometimes, it’s only necessary to demolish a specific building. In such a case, it’s important to protect the structures that are to be preserved.
This is usually done by placing temporary fencing or hoarding around the area that’s being protected. This will prevent flying debris from causing unwanted damage and creating unnecessary clean up jobs. Additionally, it will warn passer-bys to stay away from the worksite, reducing the chances of pedestrians getting hurt during the demolition and clean up process.
For this reason, it’s important to hire a contractor that’s experienced and understands the dangers that come with demolition cleanup.
On the worksite, there is inevitably going to be a lot of dust floating around. This can cause visibility issues and even health problems. It also adds to the mess that the contractors will have to clean up afterwards.
There are a few ways to mitigate dust. First, demolition workers often use water hoses and sprinklers. If they’re dealing with a smaller area, they use atomised sprayers and fans. These tools can create a wet crust on the surface of the soil, preventing dust from getting kicked up into the air.
Placing gravel paths on the exit and entrances of the job site will also make sure that no dust leaves the worksite. The rough surface of gravel will shake off most of the dust before the vehicle gets to the main road.
Lastly, the contractors usually handle loads below the fence. For example, when using an excavator, the workers will drop the load at a low height so that the dust doesn’t spread within the worksite.
After the dust settles, the team will need to go through the materials to sort them based on recyclability. They will have to categorise the recyclables into concrete, steel and woods. Non-recyclables will have to be hauled and disposed of.
If the owner of the structure is wanting to keep certain parts of the building for themselves, they will have to negotiate with the contractor. Some companies stipulate that all the structural materials involved in the demolition will become their property as soon as the contract has been signed.
As you can see, a lot of hazards and complications are involved in what seems to be a straightforward process. Because of this, it’s best to be cautious and hire the most reliable demolition team that you can. If you’re not careful you can cause damage to nearby properties, break government regulations and cause serious personal injuries.