Whether you are planning a small interior home remodeling project or would like to demolish an old home on a plot of land you just purchased, you should always leave demolition projects in the hands of experienced professionals.
Demolition work is extremely hazardous, and if you attempt to perform demolition work on your own instead of hiring an experienced professional, you can injure yourself, expose your family to health hazards, and cause more structural damage than intended during the demolition process.
Read on to learn about just four of the many hazards of DIY demolition.
1. Inhalation of Toxic Airborne Particles
Small particles of dust can enter the air when you cut, break, and shatter many types of construction materials. While some types of construction dust cause simple irritation when they are inhaled or come into contact with eyes, others are toxic and can contribute to the development of serious disease.
Brick, clay, and many types of stone contain a mineral called crystalline silica that can be released into the air during destruction of these materials. Inhalation of these particles can contribute to the development of many diseases, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a life-threatening, incurable lung disease called silicosis.
In addition, many older homes and structures have interior and exterior walls with layers of lead paint. Inhalation of and contact with lead paint particles can cause brain, nervous system, and kidney damage.
Another hazardous material present in some older homes is asbestos insulation, which can release particles in the air that can cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.
Demolition experts wear proper safety equipment while working to protect themselves from these airborne hazards. In addition, they use special demolition techniques designed to stir up as little toxic dust as possible when they know hazardous materials are on-site.
2. Unintentional Building Collapse
Another hazard of DIY demolition work is unintentional building collapse.
No one wants a building to collapse unexpectedly during the demolition process. But early collapse can occur when an older building is less structurally sound than expected or the project is not planned properly.
In addition, while some interior walls in a home are partition walls that are not necessary for home structural support, others are load-bearing walls that support the weight of above building story or roof. If a construction novice removes a load-bearing wall improperly without the right structural support system in place before removal, the home section above it could collapse.
Demolition experts enlist the help of structural engineers before beginning every project to avoid unintentional building collapse. These engineers assess the building component strength, locate load-bearing walls, and perform other site assessments that aid in safe demolition practices.
3. Plumbing and Electrical System Damage
Many walls in a typical home have both plumbing system pipes and electrical system wires embedded in them. However, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to determine not only which home walls those pipes and electrical wires run through but also exactly where they are located within the walls.
For this reason, many people attempting to remove their own home walls greatly damage their plumbing and electrical systems during the wall demolition process. And repair of these components can increase the cost of a home renovation project.
Some homeowners also forget to turn off the home water supply before demolishing a wall in the home that home plumbing pipes run through. This simple error increases the risk of flooding and water damage if a pipe is accidentally broken.
Demolition experts determine if a wall contains hidden electrical wiring and plumbing pipes and where they are located before beginning a project. This careful planning helps prevent costly and potentially dangerous damage to these important components.
4. Hearing Loss
One aspect of the demolition process that many people overlook is the amount of noise produced when performing this work. The tools used to cut, break, and shatter building materials create much of this noise. And exposure to the loud noises these tools create can lead to temporary or even permanent hearing loss.
One extremely loud tool often used during the demolition process is a jackhammer. This tool emits 102 adjusted decibels (dBA) of sound, and just one hour of exposure to this loud noise a day can lead to hearing loss.
Chain saws are even louder and produce about 110 dBA of sound during typical use. And concrete saws and electric grinders often produce noises as loud as 98 dBA, while a framing saw used to cut wood emits about 82 dBA.
To stay safe, you should never use these tools to perform any task unless you are properly trained. Demolition experts are trained to use these tools safely to minimize their risk of job-related hearing loss.
If you need demolition work completed, then enlist in the help of experienced demolition experts to avoid these four DIY demolition hazards. Contact the demolition experts at Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc. for help with your demolition project today.