Demolition Stage: Bye-bye, Watling!
Jul 22, 2022
There are important safety measures that should be observed before, during, and after demolition.
Last May 14, demolition at our Burnaby project was completed. Two structures were demolished–the carport and the main home. It is done with the help of MWL Demolition, whose price seemed fair, upfront, and transparent. To get their service, Lucullan simply provided the details of the requested work, agreed on the scope of work and price, signed a contract, and then scheduled the demolition. This was planned several months in advance..
Before the demolition day arrived, we performed a variety of tasks. One big thing that is very common in old homes is to remove Asbestos. Asbestos in this home was found in the vinyl kitchen flooring, the drywall joint compound, the ceiling texture, and the attic insulation. While removing asbestos, we still had the power to the home to run their filtration fans to ensure no asbestos dust particles floating around would escape the environment. But once that was done, we had to make sure that the existing service to the home was canceled and the power line was disconnected. Water which was previously still on for use in toilets because contractors still had to do their business, was also shut off from the street rather than from the main shutoff in the house so that it wouldn’t interfere with the demolition. Then we also performed some reclaiming of materials such as recyclable copper, electrical fittings, some wood, and insulation (unrelated to asbestos).
The whole site should be enclosed to ensure the safety of the public and minimize possible accidents that could happen during demolition.
Regarding workers’ protection, here is some advice:
- Don’t let them start the job without any protective equipment. This is the time when building materials are falling from the sky..
- An initial assessment of the job site should look for potential hazards. Anything from an overhead power, the location of tree protection barricades, to some random pipe sticking in the ground should be investigated for danger.
- In addition, they should establish a system for the demo that everyone on site knows about, such as demolishing each structure wall-by-wall so that it could just fold on itself.
- There should be designated areas for different materials or for people’s safety, which are often referred to as mustard stations where people are directed to assemble in an emergency.
- To minimize the emission of asbestos and other hazardous dust, debris, or chemicals into the atmosphere, workers keep the structure wet throughout the demolition process. This doesn’t always occur if there is no water recapture method or if hazardous material abatement has already occurred.
A successful demolition is one where the protection of everyone is taken into account. Never perform a do-it-yourself demolition, or else everyone else health and safety, including yours, will be compromised. If you’re planning to work on a demolition project for a home renovation or new home construction, please always get the service of industry professionals and keep in mind all the tips above.
This article was last updated on Nov 29, 2023