There was a movement years ago to recognize demolition contractors in Kansas City and other cities in the nation as a key component in disaster response. Since that time, it has been recognized that those in our industry have the education, skills and training to handle the aftermath of disasters effectively. Here are five duties demolition contractors perform after natural or human-made disasters:
- Removing unstable structures: The last thing rescuers want is to evacuate an area only to have further efforts hindered by collapsing buildings. Demolition contractors are often associated with wrecking balls and implosion projects, but there are more subtle ways to remove dangers. When a building threatens to crush rescue workers and injured victims, demolition contractors can neutralize it.
- Clear roadways: Getting medical services and rescuers to people who need them is essential after a disaster. The largest barrier to getting help where it needs to be is the lack of roadways. Felled trees, large building parts and other rubble can make it impossible to gain access and help victims. Demolition contractors are accustomed to carrying large heavy loads in salvage operations and can remove these barriers to support rescue operations.
- Prepare for rebuilding: Salvage operations save costs and expedite rebuilding. A structure that lost three walls but still has one wall and a chimney can often be rebuilt with the materials that once created its form. Even if buildings cannot be recreated, concrete, rebar and other items can be used to build again at a fraction of the cost. Contractors also assure that the sites are cleared and safe so it is possible for construction crews to visit the affected area and return it to some normalcy in the future.
- Demolishing the hopelessly damaged buildings: Some buildings can never be restored and only drive down property values. When they are not dealt with, they remain as eyesores and reminders of the disaster. In one example, a 30-story high-rise in West Palm Beach, Florida received so many beatings from hurricanes that it became inhabitable and was left unoccupied for five years. After another high-wind storm, the city hired demolition contractors to remove it in an effective and safe manner that allowed another higher‑quality high-rise to take its place. This freed up land and helped the property market recover.
- Assess hazardous materials: Since demolition contractors handle so many different types of buildings, they are often the most knowledgeable when it comes to controlling the dangers of asbestos, lead and PCBs. When buildings collapse from the disaster, the dust particles of these substances can make entire communities ill. Involving demolition contractors early helps contain contamination since they are already experienced in these measures. Many demolition specialists undergo additional hazardous material training to assure the best preparation.
Midland Wrecking Inc. is one of the most experienced demolition contractors in Kansas City. We offer 30 years of experience in this industry and can address any project involving demolition, debris salvage and debris removal. Call us today to receive an estimate.