It’s a big decision when starting a demo project, an even bigger one if you decide to take a DIY approach. Demolition may sound like an energetic way to spend a weekend. And with all the DIY info available at our YouTube fingertips, it may seem easy enough.
However, demolition is a serious business. And it’s important to consider a few things before starting a demo project. Read these demolition tips and hacks to ensure your next project runs smoothly and safely.
Anticipate more than what you planned.
Anyone who has ever thought about starting a demo project will agree that there will always be more than you planned. More debris, more scrap material, more time spent… just more than you organized originally. There are things that we have no way of knowing about a structure until we’re up close and personal. Knowing this, head into your next project with a fall-out plan for excess debris, erosion, unstable/damaged structures, pests, mold, rust, trash or any other curveballs that could delay progress.
Keep an eye out for hazardous materials.
Hazardous materials are almost always inevitable, especially in older buildings. We’ve all heard of the more common asbestos and lead , which are heavily regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These toxins could be present in the walls, roofing, plumbing pipes and paint of a building. Other hazardous materials like mercury, refrigerants, and PCBs are found in common household items. Some of these items include light bulbs, wiring, and appliances. Therefore, it is important to not only work around these items safely but also to dispose of them safely and legally.
Debris, debris everywhere
Debris removal is a very important part of the demolition. Not only will there be more junk than anticipated, you now have to figure out what to do with unsightly piles of scrap materials like old appliances, drywall, concrete, metals, etc. This can make your site dangerous, and you are likely to encounter things like:
- Sharp edges
- Protruding nails
- Broken glass
- Broken and protruding concrete
- Wood splinters
- Dull or sharp metal pipes
To keep yourself (and your neighbors) out of harm’s way, it is best to hire a professional removal company to properly clean up and dispose of your demolition debris. Luckily, companies much like JunkPros can double up these services, offering demolition, junk removal, disposal and clean up of the site as an all-inclusive service.
Speaking of (responsible) disposal…
Though it may not appear so at first, most leftover demolition materials can be salvaged, sold or re-used. So keep in mind how far materials can go, like:
- Steel and scrap metal
- Light fixtures
There is an expanding market for repurposing raw materials. Places like Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores, independent stores, construction auctions, and classified ad websites are great places to start. These places allow others to buy, sell, donate or advertise these recyclable materials. This is the most eco-friendly way to ensure you get the most from your next project.
Not sure what should go where? Professional removal services are equipped with pros that sort it out for you; removing your demo materials and transporting it to the right recycling, e-waste or transfer station.
Check out appliance removal tips for more tips on disposal.
Prepare your site (and your neighbors)
Whether your project is big or small, always check your local housing or demolition department to ensure you have the right permits to proceed. It is important to have these permits in place to avoid any infractions halfway through your project!
Additionally, prepare your neighbors ahead of time before starting a demo project nearby. Be courteous of the time of day, the noise and most importantly, the mess you leave behind. Nothing can throw a wrench in your plans quicker than an upset neighbor!
- Demo is not as simple as you think. Keeping a master To-Do list is invaluable for demo projects, where dates, times, tools and materials are organized in a coherent way.
- Start your research early on the possibilities of hazardous materials, excess debris, and permits. Since home demolition is not for beginners, always consult an expert before tearing anything down! They will be able to explain the process, safety tips and shine a light to any potential pitfalls that may occur and how to avoid them.
- You may find it easier on your budget and peace of mind to hire a team of professionals. From the tear down to the cleanup, all-inclusive services like this one seem to be the perfect hack to tackling your next demolition project.