The Various Demolition Methods for Buildings and Structures : Klumm Bros.

The Various Demolition Methods for Buildings and Structures

March 11, 2022

Whenever a building is slated to be demolished, the contractors handling the demolition project must choose the proper method of demolition to ensure it occurs as safely as possible. The average person might not realize there are, in fact, a number of different demolition methods or that the demolition process is far more complex than just knocking or tearing down buildings, but a failure to select the proper method for the job could result in catastrophic accidents at a demolition site.

What are the types of demolition methods that could be used at a given demo site? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Implosion: In implosion demolition, the entire object is brought down by collapsing it upon itself. The demo teams use explosives to undermine the structural supports, causing the building to collapse within its footprint within a predetermined, ideal path. The purpose is to create a controlled implosion that has minimal impact on surrounding sites, making it ideal in urban environments.
  • Chemical: Chemical demolition involves the use of concrete demolition powder, a concrete-breaking chemical and a concrete-cracking chemical. This creates a nonexplosive, quiet demolition that is both safe and cost-effective. It makes it easier to protect certain types of stone and other materials if it needs to be preserved for reuse or recycling.
  • Mechanical: Demo teams may use special mechanical equipment and tools to fully demolish buildings. Equipment could include hydraulic excavators with special attachments for breaking up concrete and steel or cranes with wrecking balls that need to perform demolition at higher elevations. This type of demolition is broadly used, especially in areas where tight space isn’t as much of a concern.
  • Controlled: Controlled demolition involves taking down a building or structure in stages to ensure stability and safety. This is ideal for tall buildings, bridges and certain types of specialty structures. It typically involves a combination of diamond drilling and hydraulic concrete crushing and will usually happen over the course of multiple days.
  • Interior demolition: In some cases, the shell of the building might be preserved, but interior demolition needs to happen to achieve the desired results for a remodel of the building. This will usually involve the removal of walls, ceilings, pipes and other fixtures and building elements.
  • Selective: Selective demolition refers to demolition processes in which only specific parts of a building are to be removed. This could involve sledgehammers, excavators, bulldozers or skid steers, among other pieces of demolition equipment. This might be done if a section of a building has experienced irreparable damage or for remodeling or renovation projects that involve tearing down or reworking a section of a building.

These are just a few examples of different demolition methods that might be used in a given project to achieve the needed results. For more information about the various demolition methods that could apply to your upcoming project and what we would recommend, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Klumm Bros. with any questions you have.

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