Do you plan to save money or time in your renovation by doing some of the demolition work yourself? Many homeowners find the benefits outweigh the extra work involved in deconstructing a room themselves.
But, as with any construction task, any homeowner should follow proper safety procedures to ensure a successful demolition and the health of everyone involved. Here are three of the most important steps to take.
Construction debris is dirty and dangerous, and it can take up way too much space. Prevent unsafe footholds, potential accidents, and chemical buildup by clearing areas of debris as soon as you create it. The best way to do this is to rent a dumpster with a swinging back gate for the duration of the entire demolition process.
Learn what should and shouldn’t go into the dumpster based on the rules of the service you rent from or the intended destination (such as a recycling facility). When choosing a site for the dumpster, don’t assume it must be set in the front driveway. The more convenient the location — such as in the back or side yard — the more likely your crew is to use it often.
The right clothing and the right tools make or break the safety of your demolition project. Wear clothing with long sleeves, long pants, and thick-soled boots. Use proper work gloves that are a good fit for each wearer. If you don’t already have them, buy safety glasses, dust mask, and hard hats from your local home improvement store. Make sure everyone uses them correctly.
Complement safe clothing choices with the right tools and equipment. Proper demolition is more than just picking up a sledgehammer and whacking at walls. While you will use a sledgehammer much of the time, you should also use more delicate tools, including claw hammers, crow bars, and screwdrivers. Specialized tools, like demo forks for flooring, will make certain tasks less wrenching.
If you plan to reuse or recycle any materials, plan how you will remove them carefully and how to store them separately from the debris. If you will have a lot to recycle, for instance, you may want to rent two smaller dumpsters instead of one large one. Then you can differentiate between garbage and recycling.
Before you swing a hammer, know how to shut off the water, electricity, and gas to the entire space. Some of these may require work from the city or county. Create a construction no go zone well outside the actual area you will work in so that children and others not involved in the demo stay out of the danger zone.
Be sure you fully understand the ins and outs of the room you’re destroying. What is behind each and every wall? Where are the plumbing, electrical connections, and studs? Which walls are load-bearing? Which are to be destroyed fully, which partially, and which left standing? What materials can be reused or recycled? What materials are you likely to find below, behind, or around destroyed elements?
No matter how much you think you know about the site, proceed carefully and expect to be surprised. Work with your contractor to determine exactly how to remove elements safely. And if you discover anything during demolition that you’re not comfortable with — like unknown chemicals or a particularly stubborn element — or don’t know how to dispose of, ask for professional assistance.
At Afford-A-Potty, we offer dumpster rentals for any size remodel project, large or small. Call today to learn more about our services and our products.