Demolition and Site Clearing in Houston
Demolition and Site Clearing are the First Steps in Development
Before extensive site preparation can begin, your land will first need to be cleared of any existing structures, debris, or natural obstructions. This isn’t just prudent for safety and space reasons – it’s required by law. Dilapidated structures can pose a safety threat if destabilized during the construction process. Proper demolition ensures these structures are properly dismantled and removed.
Demolition and site clearing are simple ideas – remove anything that may interfere with construction. In practice, though, they involve complex processes and a lot of equipment and manpower to execute.
What Do Professional Houston Demolition and Site Clearing Services Include?
If you’re developing a commercial site, one of the first steps is demolishing any existing structures and clearing the area. As every structure is different, every demolition project comes with its own challenges. In general, though, this is what demolition consists of:
- A site survey – Long before any equipment shows up, the demolition team will survey the structure to be demolished. While walking through the building, the demo team will take note of the building’s materials, layout, method of construction and drainage. The demo team will also note what nearby neighborhood conditions look like, such as the amount of traffic and available space.
- Hazardous material removal – During a site survey, the demo team will also check for the presence of any hazardous materials, such as asbestos. If hazardous materials are discovered, they must be removed prior to demolition so they do not present a health hazard to the demo team or neighbors.
- A demolition plan – Once the site has been thoroughly surveyed and analyzed, the demolition team can develop a plan to demolish the structure. This plan includes what methods and equipment will be necessary for demolition, how long the process will take, and how much debris is expected following demolition.
- Safety preparation – With a plan in place, the demolition team can prepare the site for safety purposes. This includes alerting all demo team workers of site hazards, including flammable materials and excess dust.
- Permit acquisition – Prior to demolition, permits must be secured from the city approving of the demo plan. The demolition team can acquire these permits for the site’s owner to expedite the process.
Once the permits are acquired and a plan is in place, demolition may proceed. Depending on what’s detailed in the demo plan, the following demolition methods may be used:
- Demolishing with an excavator – Excavator demolition is a popular option for smaller commercial buildings. The size and power of an excavator allows for rapid demolition, even in tight spaces.
During excavator demolition, the excavator works from the top of the structure down. As larger chunks of the structure are pulled away, other demo team members can reduce those large pieces into smaller pieces that can be easily hauled away.
- Demolishing with a wrecking ball – When people think large-scale demolition, they often think about wrecking balls. The famous ball and chain is still a useful demolition tool, capable of reducing larger commercial structures using a multi-ton ball of steel.
During demolition, the wrecking ball is slammed into the structure’s base, destabilizing and causing rapid structural failure. As powerful as a wrecking ball is, though, it requires great skill and expertise to handle – so they aren’t in widespread use anymore.
- Dismantling – During dismantling, the structure is pulled apart piece by piece using more precise demolition methods. This may involve the use of cutting tools and cranes to carefully remove large segments of the building.
Dismantling is recommended when only a part of the building needs to be removed. It’s also the first choice when the structure’s materials are to be recycled. That’s because dismantling ensures the demolished materials can be efficiently sorted for recycling purposes.
Demolition can also be done with explosives, but they’re only used in a small fraction of commercial demolition projects and only with larger buildings that cannot be demolished through other means.
Need Demolition or Site Clearing Services in Houston? Here Are Three Reasons to Consider a Professional
Regardless of the method and scale of demolition, most property owners opt to work with an experienced demo and site clearing crew. Here’s why:
- Safety and legal compliance – Demolition crews must account for an array of safety hazards, including falling materials, traffic, the presence of heavy equipment, and any hazardous materials. Experienced teams know how to identify and mitigate these risks before they pose a danger.
Further, demolition teams must abide by various federal, state, and local building ordinances during demolition. This includes observing all OSHA rules and attaining approval from county agencies – including public health, wastewater management, erosion control and landmark preservation agencies. An experienced demolition contractor will know where and how to acquire these approvals, expediting the process.
- Access to equipment and manpower – Experienced demolition teams maintain an impressive array of heavy equipment and manpower, ensuring they can engage in demolition at any scale. With this expanded equipment access, demolition contractors can match their resources to the project.
Without a professional demolition team on the job, property owners are responsible for acquiring this equipment and manpower, which can greatly extend lead times and stress a budget.
- Full site clearing and disposal services – Demolition is the hard part, but only one part of the job. Once demolition is complete, there will be tons of material, rocks, and trees to remove from the site. An experienced contractor will account for site clearing during the project’s planning and ensure all materials are either promptly recycled or disposed of.
You’ll Need Demolition and Site Clearing Before the Real Dirt Work Can Begin
Before any development project can get underway, you’ll need a blank site to work with. That’s where demolition and site clearing services – and a professional Houston demolition contractor – can help. An experienced demolition crew has the equipment, manpower and processes in place to oversee efficient demolition and waste disposal. They also have the experience required to minimize risk during the process and ensure your demolition project proceeds as planned.