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Demolishing a House: Different Techniques

Last modified: 2022-05-16 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Demolition may be one of the more exciting parts of construction, as you witness floors, walls, and ceilings can all come down within an instant. While demolitions can be fast, thrilling, and messy, this doesn’t mean that they can be completed mindlessly.

Demolitions are quite a complex process, and a clear strategy, as well as the utmost caution, should be observed when taking on any demolition project.

Demolition methods vary depending on the area where they're held, the material your home is made from, the purpose of the demolition as well as the way the debris is disposed of. If you’re about to demolish all or part of your house and are curious about the various demolition methods, continue reading for the breakdown!

The different techniques for demolishing a house

pièce démolie_les techniques pour démolir une maison_Soumission Rénovation

Getting started: what to know before demolishing your home

As we mentioned in our introduction, home demolition is a serious project. Before pulling out the explosives, we’d like to get over a few of the steps to take before choosing a demolition method.

First, you must have your home inspected by an inspector. This step cannot be overlooked, as inspection will be necessary for you to complete the next step: permits. Demolition permits are an absolute must when it comes to this project. It’s important that you check with your municipality about the rules and regulations regarding demolitions. Of course, determine what will be demolished before moving forward with the permit applications, as more than one may be needed. 

Once the permits have been applied for and accepted, you’ll need to begin thinking about what needs to be shut off and disconnected. Electricity and plumbing that leads into the areas of demolition will require servicing. This step has to be completed safely and effectively so that the demolition can go off without any problems. 

Now that we know a little bit about the steps leading up to demolition, let’s look at the specific methods one may choose to demolish a house.

Implosion Demolition

Implosion demolition consists of a violent bursting inward of explosives. This creates the sequential elimination of the structural support in a building. To do this, a sufficient amount of explosives are needed to fully destroy the home's structure. The placement of the explosives, as well as the sequential detonation timing, are also crucial to this method. This form of demolition is generally restricted to urban areas and involves large structures that allow for the utmost control of debris during demolition. 

In order for this type of demolition to be successful, it's important that the structural blueprints of the building are analyzed in order to look at all the main components of the building. Also, a professional or "blaster crew" must be hired to complete an assessment of the structure of your home before diving into this project, as there may be specific areas that need to be blasted in addition to the ones identified on the blueprint.

We should also mention that the type of explosives used is important in the decision-making process, so be sure to know how certain explosives work in opposition to others, as well as where to position them and how to time their detonation correctly.

Strip-Out or Selective Demolition

briques_les techniques pour démolir une maison_Soumission Rénovation

source: Pixabay, Ben_Kerckx

This demolition process, also known as deconstruction, is growing in popularity as of late, as it can be considered a form of green demolition. What's involved is selective interior or exterior demolition, removing items including walls, floors, and ceilings in a way for the materials to be recycled, reused and repurposed. 

With this type of process, materials such as brick, wood, metals and concrete items can all be recycled, either by salvaging parts to use in a new structure or using them elsewhere. The purpose of this method is to recover the maximum amount of reusable material in a safe and cost-effective way. However, this process is labour intensive and can be difficult to achieve in a timely and economical manner. 

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High Arm Reach Demolition


source: Flickr, Suzanne Hanlon

High arm reach is another commonly used method of demolition. The way this demolition method is defined is when the structure reaches a height of more than 20 meters. This style of demolition is usually completed by a base machine, such as an excavator, tank, or engine, as well as a demolition arm that consists of 3 sections, or by a telescopic boom alongside a tool attached to the base machine. Such a demolition method is generally used on materials such as reinforced concrete, steel, masonry, and mixed material structures.

There may be other machines employed to complete the high arm reach demolition process, as additional components for secondary operations, such as crunching or moving material, are necessary. The height of the home or building being demolished as well as the site conditions all play a role in how this demolition process plays out. 

Are you looking for more information about demolitions? We'd suggest checking out 2 of our other articles:

Crane & Ball Demolition

This is a tried and tested method for demolishing buildings, and one that is still commonly used. The ball and crane's main method of demolition is by way of a wrecking ball that can weigh anywhere up to 14 000 pounds. The wrecking ball is generally used to demolish concrete and masonry structures. The crane and ball work by swinging or dropping the wrecking ball directly onto or into the structure that's to be demolished.

Unfortunately, this method isn't suitable for all demolitions and does involve some limitations. If you use this method to demolish a building, it may be necessary to remove the rebar in concrete structures. Further, only skilled and experienced crane operators should work on ball and crane demolition projects, as proper control of the swing ball is critical.

Missing the target in this demolition process may cause the crane to tip or to become overloaded, creating more destruction than necessary. Be sure to remember that this type of demolition method can create a great deal of dust, debris, vibrations, and noise.

Demolition contractor

Get 3 renovation quotes for your home demolition project can help you get quotes for your demolition project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.


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