Every Building Demolition Requires Proper Hazardous Material Abatement

Keeping the environment clean and our workers safe

Building demolition in Tennessee isn’t quite as simple as just knocking down old construction. The most important thing to keep in mind during any demolition project is safety. That includes structural safety when taking down structures and dealing with the hazardous materials contractors built into many older projects.

Masonry boiler building demolition

Asbestos Abatement in Tennessee

Asbestos is a material that has been used in various capacities for centuries. It has unique properties that make it useful in multiple applications. It’s a mineral, so it’s fireproof and extremely resistant to corrosion. Unfortunately, after decades of widespread use, scientists discovered that asbestos causes mesothelioma, a serious type of cancer.

The material continued to be used as insulation and as a fibrous reinforcement to strengthen other materials until the Asbestos Emergency Response Act of 1986. This popularity means you’re likely to find plenty of asbestos in floors, walls, and ceilings during historical building demolition. Asbestos is only a hazard when it becomes airborne. Homes that contain asbestos are generally safe but become dangerous during any renovations or demolition. As the components containing asbestos are torn apart, they release fine fibers into the air that people can inhale.

Because of this danger, many older buildings will require asbestos abatement in Tennessee before demolition. Asbestos abatement is the method for safely removing asbestos from a building without endangering workers or the general public. The area where the abatement work is being performed is typically sealed off to prevent airborne asbestos from escaping. This isolation can also include the use of negative air pressure to trap fibers.

Asbestos-bearing materials are carefully removed, disturbing them as little as possible. Specialized vacuum equipment is used to clean up asbestos because the fibers are small enough to pass through the filter of a household vacuum cleaner. Once the asbestos abatement has been completed, demolition can proceed normally. The site is now safe for workers, and the demolition won’t release asbestos particles into the air.

Lead Abatement in Tennessee

The other primary hazard that old homes are going to have is lead. While lead has been used for essentially any metal application throughout history, the primary concern for home demolition is lead-based paint. Lead-based paint saw wide use up until 1978. Any home built before this date likely has lead paint on its walls, and lead abatement in Tennessee will be necessary before any kind of demolition work can proceed.

If the walls were to be torn down before abatement, lead dust would enter the air and be inhaled by the demolition workers. They could also carry this dust on their clothing to their own homes, presenting health hazards for their families. When lead enters the body through any means, it can lead to lead poisoning. This condition poses numerous health risks, including potential damage to the nervous system, brain, kidneys, and blood cells.

Lead abatement entails taking down painted walls while minimizing dust released and the extent to which that dust can travel. The site will be carefully sealed off and ventilated during the lead abatement to prevent dust from escaping. Abatement workers will also wet any painted surfaces to reduce the amount of dust that becomes airborne. Combined with taking down walls in a way that minimizes how much they are cut or broken, these methods can safely remove the dangerous lead-painted surfaces from the site.

Why Abatement Matters at Every Site

Abatement is an essential step during the demolition of any older buildings. It protects the workers, the residents, and the community at large. Today, asbestos and lead abatements are standard health and safety practices in the demolition industry. Before any demolition can proceed, careful inspection is required to verify the presence of hazardous materials. While there are guidelines for which ages of houses are likely to contain dangerous materials, these are not a substitution for a thorough inspection.

For the most part, stakeholders at every level have realized the importance of abatement and its status as a necessary step. While it creates an additional expense during a demolition process, landowners and businesses know the severe consequences of skipping this step. Reaching out to professionals is the only way to handle hazardous material abatement. Regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and other bodies mandate certified abatement to protect the health of those in the demolition and construction industries, along with the public in general.

Asbestos abatement project containment

E. Luke Greene Demolition in Tennessee

As a responsible demolition company serving the residents of Tennessee, E Luke Greene Demolition ensures that all historic building demolitions have thorough and proper abatement to protect our crews and the public. You can contact us today to discuss your demolition and abatement options.

Our crews are fully licensed and trained, and we’re insured to execute all manner of both asbestos and lead abatement.