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Amanda
Harvey

Demolishing a House: Different Techniques

Last modified: 2019/01/04 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Demolition may be one of the more exciting parts of construction, as 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 will be held, the material your home is made from, the purpose of the demolition as well as the way the debris will be 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!

Here are the different techniques for demolishing a house!

Implosion Demolition

Implosion demolition consists in a violent bursting inward of explosives. This creates the sequential elimination of the structural support in a building. To do so, 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 generally involving large structures that allow for the utmost control of debris during demolition. 

In order for this type of demolition to be successful, it is important that the structural blueprints of the building be 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.

The type of explosives used is also important in the decision-making process, so make 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

Demolishing a house_RenoQuotes.com

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 is 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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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, and the wrecking ball is generally used to demolish concrete and masonry structures. The crane and ball work by swinging or dropping the wrecking ball onto or into the structure that is to be demolished.

Unfortunately, this method is not 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.

High Arm Reach Demolition

House demolition_RenoQuotes.com

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. 

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