Demolition is a messy yet necessary business. Crews demolish old or unused buildings to make way for new spaces. In some cases, getting rid of a crumbling structure can be a matter of safety for people who work or live in surrounding buildings. Once the dust settles, the cleanup part of the project begins. There are several tips a good crew can use to help minimize the hassles that come with getting rid of debris safely.
Create a Cleanup Plan
Once the proper channels approve demolition plans, a crew can begin the various stages of the project. Initial planning for any demolition involves discussions about the kinds of methods or equipment the team might use. However, it is essential that the cleanup portion of the job get some time in the spotlight even before demolition begins. There are basic checklists you can use for this sort of thing, and different areas might have guidelines that they require you to follow during a demolition.
Use the Right Equipment
Cleaning up a demolished structure can involve several steps. It is important to know what kinds of equipment can benefit a demo team and how they can use each type to their advantage. A proper cleanup job might involve removing large pieces of the former structure, but you might be responsible for removing objects the building contained as well. Hoppers are one of the most instrumental pieces of equipment a demo team can use during the cleanup, and self-dumping hoppers can move things along quickly. Self-dumping hoppers have features that make them unique from other hoppers. You can use them to dump loads of debris and have them return to their original positions automatically.
Recycle What You Can
Many cities have guidelines that a demolition crew can follow when it comes to recycling debris. Not everything you find during cleanup is recyclable. However, there are some general types of materials that you can usually recycle. The specific guidelines for these procedures may vary from one city to the next, but future construction projects can benefit from debris you choose to recycle. If you take the time, you can even resell some of the items on the site.
Contain the Demolition
A demolition can look chaotic to bystanders, but trained teams know that it is a controlled process. Part of that control involves making sure the entire site is contained as much as possible. Containment means making sure that dust, debris, and other hazards don’t go too far outside the radius of the site to impact surrounding areas negatively. Part of the planning phase will involve setting up barriers and safeguards that are designed to keep debris within the appropriate blast radius. Dust can be harder to control, but wetting down the area can help to keep particles from spreading excessively.
Sorting through demolished materials is an important step if you’re recycling everything you can. However, it is a good thing to keep in mind as a way to streamline the whole cleanup process as well. Consider doing a soft deconstruction before the full demolition. Starting with this kind of disassembly gives a demo team the chance to find recyclable materials right away and sort through things preemptively. Even when you’re doing the full demolition later in the process, you can already check off a major part of the cleanup. Some construction companies may be interested in any of the useful materials you’ve sorted that are still in good condition.
Check Storage Space
If you run out of space to store debris for hauling away later, the whole cleanup process comes to a grinding halt. You don’t want to be standing around waiting on containers or other supplies because you only made a rough estimate of what you were going to need. Deciding on the right amount of space for your needs is not always easy, but there are different methods you can use to define what you need. Some teams like to put various waste streams into measurements of cubic yards before they begin a project.
Wear Appropriate Gear
Just like the right equipment for the job, a good demo team should be wearing outfits and gear that protects them from the hazards on the site. In most cases, standard gear for a demolition and cleanup includes heavy gloves, masks that may come equipped with breathers, and helmets. Your city may recommend additional gear for the process as well. Do a check of every member’s equipment before the demolition takes place and prior to the cleanup efforts. It is important to make sure that nothing was damaged during the process of tearing down the building. Debris can cause unexpected injury, and crew gear needs to be in good shape.
This cleanup tip isn’t always necessary, but it is still here for any partial demolition jobs you might have. It is possible that you only need to demolish a specific part of an existing structure. If this is the case, you’ll want to take some precautions to protect the parts of the building that should remain intact and to minimize the cleanup hassle after everything is done. Depending on the methods you use for a partial demo, tarps and other coverings over strategic areas might be the only supplies you need. You’ll want to keep dust and other particles from messing up areas of the structure that are supposed to remain as they are. Some additional cleaning procedures might be necessary on a partial project.
Demolition and the subsequent cleanup of debris can be just as complex as starting a new construction project. Much of the construction that goes on in urban areas begins with a bit of demolition to clear things away from the site. Don’t forget to check for applicable state regulations regarding demolished waste before you begin the project. A smooth cleanup operation for a demolition team means less time wasted on the job and smaller chances of any unwanted or dangerous debris getting left behind in the mix.
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