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Partial Demolition Failures and How They Can Be Prevented

Blog | November 20th, 2018

Partial demolition projects should be easier to carry out than a full-on demolition. All things considered, there’s less material to break down and remove when the work calls for a partially rendered service, right? That’s not necessarily true. Think of the actions that are being taken in this job. It’s a fragmented approach, and there’s an interface or buffer between the demolished section and the untouched region.

Fragmented Buffering Solutions 

In this hypothetical project, one side of a structure has been entirely gutted. The opposing side is still functional and it’ll be renovated by a different contractor, maybe months from now. With walls and load-bearing pillars removed, the gutted section is being pushed by the untouched structural elements. To counter those forces, the demolition service erects a series of wall buttressing supports. Without this temporary section buffering solution, the various-condition structural fragments could topple over or crumble.

Compensating For Sectional Shortcomings 

In truth, this is a harder job, for part of a structure is pulled down according to one definition of a demolition agency’s deconstruction handbook, while another section is classed as intact. The gas lines and electrical conduits can’t all be pulled, not yet at any rate. Fuses and circuit breakers need to be pulled and labelled. In a full demolition, that whole switchboard would come out. In partial demolition work, it’s easy to pull the wrong fuse, disconnect the wrong gas line, or isolate a service that’s still required in at least part of the building. In point of fact, the contractor might end up calling out an electrician, for someone needs to put in a temporary power supply until something more permanent can be designed to safely split the various services.

Sealing Failures Shouldn’t Ever Happen 

There’s an exposed wall filled with asbestos in the deconstructed section. It must be sealed off, so the vents to the other side of the edifice require attention. Rats and other vermin take up residence in the torn down sections. The building, partially demolished or not, needs to be boarded up and shuttered. Vermin traps should be laid. That’s an approach that applies to mould growths, rain and other environmental elements, and to the occasional homeless person who sees the demolished area as a temporary home.

Essentially, casual observers don’t have any trouble telling the difference between the fragmented sections of a demolished structure. What they do have trouble with is seeing the buffers between areas. Shuttered doorways and boarded-up passages are easy enough to install, but what about vents and structural elements? The vent system needs separating so that vermin and mould cannot spread. As for the structure, temporary supports must be installed if any load-supporting walls or pillars are removed.

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