If you spend any amount of time watching programs about home makeovers, you know that sometimes creating the dream home can come down to a choice between renovation and demolition. It’s an important decision because renovation is cheaper, safer, and quicker than demolishing a house. But there comes a point when renovation just isn’t an option anymore.
How do you tell if your property is a reno or a demo? And once you’ve made that decision, what exactly does the demolition process involve. We’re here to tell you how the process works from start to finish.
Reno Or Demo
To tear down or not to tear down? That is the question. And in some cases, it’s not an easy question to answer. Since the demolition process is always going to be more expensive than a renovation process, if you’re on the fence, here are a few things that might make your decision easier.
First things first, check your property’s foundation before doing anything else. Are there any noticeable signs that the foundation may be damaged? Noticeable cracks or buckling throughout the house (and in more than one room) are a bad sign. Also, if the house is damp and inundated with mold, the whole thing may have to go.
Does your dream home have rooms or square footage the current home footprint can’t provide? Some cities have very strict zoning and building codes, so demo experts will have to check those first to see if the property footprint can get any larger. If you have room to grow, a full demo and redesign might make sense.
It’s also possible that the property actually detracts from the value of the lot? Believe it or not, this can happen. Sometimes, a home is such an eyesore, or so old, that the land is worth more vacant than with an old structure.
And sometimes you just want what you want and are willing to pay to build it from scratch.
For whatever reason, you’ve decided that demolition is the way to go. Now what?
Survey Before You Demo
Before anything gets knocked down, there’s a lot of work to do to ensure that the process is going to be safe for the workers and your neighbors. That’s where a demolition plan comes in, and lots of testing. Experts will come in to do a complete survey of the property to be demolished.
They’ll discover the types of materials that make up the property. Is it a concrete and steel structure, or is it a wooden structure? Are the inside walls plaster or primarily sheetrock?
During this process, your contractors will do an asbestos test. Asbestos is a natural fibrous substance made up of silicate. It is dangerous and can cause serious health effects if breathed into the lungs. Asbestos testing is an area where hiring an experienced and reputable team like RM Demolition is going to make a big difference.
While not completely outlawed in the United States, many homes built before 1980 can have potentially dangerous amounts of asbestos in them. An asbestos test will find any potentially dangerous amounts of asbestos. And your demo team will ensure it is disposed of safely. That process is called asbestos abatement, and it will be a big part of any demolition plan.
The demolition plan will also take a look at the drainage areas on your land and how a demolition might contribute to water pollution. They’ll also determine what kind of effect, if any, demolition might have on the nearby property as well as any effects of demolition volume, as well as traffic, dust, and vibration.
Finally, experts will take a look at the parts of the structure that aren’t necessarily part of the structure but will be affected by the demolition. That will include the pipes and electrical lines and any septic or oil tanks that may exist on the property.
The Demolition Process
What happens when demo day arrives depends on what was found during all that testing and surveying. The workers who are doing the demolition should have undergone a safety briefing. Workers will make sure all the necessary safety equipment is on-site, and put any safety protocols in place.
If any dangerous materials were found, those will likely be removed first. Asbestos abatement, the removal of any petroleum products—even radioactive materials may all have to be removed before the actual structure begins to come down.
The team will likely put a large garbage container on-site to hold the mess they’re going to make. Be prepared to see a giant metal container sitting on your property for the duration of the demolition.
Tearing It Down
If you’re dealing with a single-family home, the demolition will most likely be non-explosive. The demolition will be done using human and mechanical strength. For the workers, a simple sledgehammer can get a lot of inside demolition done.
But for brick walls and outer hard structures, the team will likely bring in heavy equipment like bulldozers, and excavators. This equipment is loud and heavy and will impact your neighbors, so keep this in mind and perhaps give everyone a heads up.
If the demolition involves a multi-story building explosives may be used. This is called a controlled detonation. Demolition experts know how to blow things up and they’ll make sure that your building falls to pieces safely, and that those pieces fall in exactly the spot they want them to end up.
These types of giant, controlled explosions can be as exciting as a fireworks show and in some cases, just as much planning goes into them. But they’re not something just any company can do, and here at RM Demolition, we’ve been doing this for decades.
From Demolition To Clean Slate
If you’re looking at a major project, then call us at RM Demolition and we can help walk you through the demolition process. We’ve been providing demolition services, and asbestos abatement in and around El Paso, Texas for more than 30 years and we know what we’re doing.
We’re all about saving money while getting the job done safely and as quickly as possible. Whatever your area of business—residential, commercial, even government—we know how to get your project done.