3 Hazards When Demolishing Old Commercial Buildings

Construction & Contractors Blog

If you have an old commercial building that you need to be demolished, you must be aware of the hazards that demolishing the building can present. Older buildings often contain materials that are not used in construction projects anymore due to the safety hazards they present. If your building has any of these old materials in them, you need to work with a commercial demolition contractor to make sure that these materials are all properly disposed of.

Hazard #1: Lead Paint

One of the classic materials that is no longer used in buildings is lead paint. When tearing down a building that may have had lead paint in it, you need to make sure your contractor is aware that lead paint may still exist in the buildings. More than likely, all the lead paint in the main rooms of the building may have been removed over time. However, lead paint may still exist on things such as steel beams that were never painted over.

If you have lead paint in your building, the demolition company needs to be aware so that they can wear the proper respirators and protective clothing as they work to demolish your building.

Hazard #2: Formaldehyde

The next hazard you need to be aware of is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is often associated with preserving bodies. However, it is also used in wood paneling and particleboard. This is especially true of older wood paneling and particleboard. Formaldehyde was used to cure the wood.

This is not a problem when the wood is in a whole state. However, during the demolition process, that wood will need to be cut into, creating wood dust. That is when the workers may come into contact with the formaldehyde, which can be a real risk. Once again, this means the demolition workers will need to wear respirator gear when dealing with old wood inside your building.

Hazard #3: Synthetic Mineral Fibers

Synthetic mineral fibers, also called SMF, are the fibers that come when you are cutting up things such as rock wool, fiberglass, and ceramic. These products are most often used as an insulation material. These fibers are known to irritate the respiratory system and have been linked to lung cancer as well.

If your building has any material that can be hazardous during the removal process, be sure to let the demolition team know so that they can take the proper precautions to protect their work and dispose of the material in a proper manner.

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17 July 2019

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