Granny Flats and Other Useful Ideas for Expansion

« Back to Home

House Demolition: Simple Tips on Mitigating Potential Liability

Posted on

Demolition is a critical process if you are planning on building a new house in place of your old one. You can also perform partial destruction during major renovations. There are different demolition methods that you can select for your project. The common options are mechanical demolition and deconstruction. Basically, the former involves using heavy machinery like crane and wrecking ball, bulldozers and pusher arm equipment for the destruction process. On the other hand, deconstruction involves systematic disassembly of the structure using handheld tools. Unfortunately, demolition involves risky destructive processes which can lead to worksite accidents, regardless of the selected method. Here are simple tips to help you mitigate potential hazards and subsequent liability.

Perform Asbestos Inspection

Asbestos is a hazardous building material which was incorporated into structures in the past. Basically, when the material is bound and stable, it is relatively harmless. However, if the structure with asbestos is disturbed, the constituent fibres will be released from the building. These are associated with diseases like asbestosis and cancer when inhaled by people around. Therefore, you should commission an inspection of your building for asbestos before starting demolition. This will allow identification and safe removal of the material since any destructive action will release the fibres. You can also ask your asbestos consultant to check the building for other hazardous materials like lead paint and harmful fibrous insulation.

Obtain Permits and Insurance

You should obtain the right permit for your project to avoid the legal and financial implications associated with illicit demolition. Small building modifications such as bringing down internal walls might be exempt if the impact on the building is not structural. However, it is advisable to inquire about the specifics from your local council. The permit can protect you against lawsuits if an accident occurs during the project. You should also think about insurance when starting the project because unexpected incidences can occur. Generally, demolition contractors have their own public liability and worker's compensation insurance. However, you should verify the validity of their policy with the insurer as a precaution. Also, avoid performing demolition tasks without professional assistance because you will be liable for any accidents.

Consider Clean-Up Aspects

Finally, you should think about the clean-up aspects of your demolition projects. If structural debris and demolished features are left within the property, unexpected accidents could occur over time. Therefore, you should ensure that the worksite is cleared immediately. Ideally, you should engage demolition contractors with clean-up services. However, you can hire skip bins if you want to sort the waste.