Environmental Considerations When Demolishing a House

Demolishing a house sounds pretty straightforward – grab a sledgehammer or rent a piece of equipment and begin tearing things down. It’s not quite that easy, though. Many environmental and health consequences can come from demolishing a house. We will examine some of the most important things you should pay attention to during the next house demolition you may be involved in.

Pre-Demolition Inspection

While you most likely want to jump on your demolition project as soon as possible, taking a step back and getting a pre-demolition inspection is one of the smartest things you can do. This inspection can pick out things you need to know before demolition; factors like what kind of materials you are dealing with and what needs to be removed before the demo can even begin. Environmental problems that need to be handled and/or monitored can also be examined in an inspection. 

Sometimes, a pre-demolition inspection is required and is not a choice. Be sure you know the regulations in the location of demolition so you don’t do harm to the environment and don’t get hit with some hefty fines! Submit any required forms, and get those permits and any other approvals you need before your demolition begins.

Mode of Demolition

There are a few different modes of demolition, and usually, the choice of what approach you use depends on the demolition sites and what is being torn down at each location. In addition, the type of building materials that are in place in these structures is also considered.

Some of the approaches that are taken include a sledgehammer, bulldozer, wrecking ball, excavator, and more. 

Asbestos Presence

Asbestos is a dangerous substance made up of several minerals that naturally occur in nature and fibers that resist heat. Asbestos was installed in thousands of homes across the United States before the dangers of asbestos and its links to cancer were discovered. Sadly, asbestos has been found to cause lung, ovarian, and laryngeal cancer and is the primary cause of mesothelioma, which is cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. 

If asbestos is present in a home or building, it needs to be removed by a professional that knows exactly how to remove it and dispose of it. Asbestos found in demo or renovation work often causes the most dangerous exposure, and state and federal regulations need to be closely followed to maintain a healthy environment.

Soil Contaminants

During a large demo like a house demolition in NJ, the soil will be disturbed either because of the demo itself or the traffic of heavy equipment and trucks that come and go from the work site throughout the demolition process. When the soil is disturbed, there can be dirt and sediment carried away by rain and snow, taking it to waterways and polluting it in the process.

It’s important to know that the law requires you to take precautions to avoid such water contamination through sediment control measures. This is where your contractor can help you make sure that such precautions are being met.

Oil Tank Disposal

If you are removing an above-ground oil tank, the process can become fairly complex. You need to hire a pro that knows all about oil tanks and the disposal process that goes with them. While regulations regarding oil tank disposal are different in every state, there are most likely forms, permits, and inspections that need to happen. Do what you need to in order to get your oil tank emptied, cleaned, and removed properly to avoid leaky oil tanks making a mess and resulting in contaminated groundwater, polluted soil, and more.  What might seem to be a simple project can lead to something much more involved and costly if not handled properly.

Salvage, Reuse, and Recycle

If you are undergoing a house demolition, New Jersey homeowners should consider exactly what they will be removing. Can you salvage, reuse, or recycle anything? It may take more time, but these small choices can add up to how the environment is impacted.

Things like appliances, cabinets, wood, stone, and more can all be taken from a home and reused in amazing ways in a rebuild or in other homes or buildings. Every bit that is reused or recycled is a little bit that is kept out of the landfill.

Choose Mikula Contracting for Your Demolition Project

Mikula Contracting knows how important your New Jersey house demolition is to you. However, we also know what a negative environmental impact it can have if it’s not carried out in the right way. Our team is experienced in demolition and works hard to obtain the required inspections, permits, and more, so you don’t have to think about it. 

Mikula Contracting has you covered if you are getting ready for a house demolition, small or large. Learn about what we can do for your home. Call us at 973-772-1684 to learn about the demolition services our team provides in the New Jersey area.

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