The Four Most Common Ways of Demolishing a Building : Klumm Bros.

The Four Most Common Ways of Demolishing a Building

August 7, 2019

Unless you’re a movie monster, when a building needs to come down, how you’ll accomplish that task can vary quite a bit. Developers and demolition contractors in Toledo, OH look at several factors to decide how they’ll bring it down.

Generally, there are four major ways of demolishing a building: implosion, high-reach arm, wrecking ball and selective demolition. When deciding which approach is most appropriate, you would take into account where the building is located, what was used to build the structure and how the debris will be removed. Naturally, a rural building can use different methods than a skyscraper in a crowded urban environment.


Implosion is the most dramatic (and, some may argue, the coolest) way of bringing down a building. Carefully-placed explosives are used to destroy the vertical supports so that the building collapses in on itself. Implosion is good for high-density urban areas, since it is a relatively controlled demolition.

High-Reach Arm

Buildings over 66 feet tall may be demolished by a high-reach arm, which is a long demolition arm attached to a base machine (such as an excavator). A demolition tool is attached to the arm, which breaks down the building piece by piece. The large pieces are taken down to a crew on the ground, which sorts and removes them. This type of demolition is good for reinforced concrete, masonry and steel.

Wrecking Ball

Wrecking balls are one of the oldest methods of demolition. A large ball, weighing up to 13,500 pounds, is suspended from a tall crane. The ball then slams into the building repeatedly until the building collapses. As you can imagine, this is far less safe than implosion and high-reach arm demolitions, and it requires extremely skilled operators to accomplish. Risks include the crane tipping over, dust, debris, excessive noise and the potential to take out other buildings or power lines.

Selective Demolition

Finally, selective demolition is a newer technique that’s gaining popularity. It allows builders to collect and reuse or recycle the building materials, such as concrete, wood, brick and metals. This technique is also referred to as “strip-out.” Although it’s environmentally conscious, the downside is that it’s a labor-intensive process, which means it’s more expensive, and might not be cost-effective for light-framed buildings. If it’s right for your building, though, it can be a great way to blend old materials with modern ones.

To find out more about demolition or to schedule an appointment with an experienced and capable demolition contractor in Toledo, OH, reach out to Klumm Bros. Since our founding in 1989, our team has been proud to provide a full range of commercial, residential and industrial concrete crushing, excavation and demolition services to area clients. As a local business, we are dedicated to the quality of our work and the satisfaction of our customers. You can find out more about everything that we have to offer by giving our team a call today for a free quote and a consultation. We look forward to meeting with you soon!

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