Tips & Ideas

When Should a Building be Demolished?

It isn’t always easy to make a decision to tear down a building. In many cases, residential and commercial property owners prefer to do major renovations instead of a partial or total demolition. But when a renovation isn’t practical or wouldn’t add sufficient value to the building, it may make more sense to start planning a demolition project.

Severely Degraded Foundation

It is often possible to repair a settling foundation. Certified contractors can perform piering and underpinning. However, these projects are very expensive, and they may not be sufficient to fix a severely degraded foundation. Foundations can become weak beyond repair when the land shifts or sinks underneath them, or when the materials have become substantially degraded. Weak foundations can create safety hazards, which may necessitate a total demolition.

Presence of Hazardous Materials

Buildings that are several decades old or older often contain hazardous materials. One of the most prevalent hazardous materials is asbestos. Asbestos can often be present in insulation, wallboard, flooring, roofing materials, paint, wallpaper, and exterior sheathing. Asbestos can cause a particularly aggressive and deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma. Lead is also problematic. In old buildings, lead is often present in paint, roofing metals, and piping. A building that contains hazardous materials may need to be demolished because it’s unsafe. These materials must be carefully removed by specially trained workers.

Poor Property Value

Residential or commercial property value is an important consideration when deciding whether to demolish or renovate a building. In some cases, a vacant lot may be more valuable and easier to sell than an old building that needs renovations. Vacant lots can be appealing to buyers because they can design a building to specifically suit their needs.

Jim Bracken and his team at Brackenbox have years of experience providing demolition and wrecking services for residential, commercial, and municipal structures. We are a family-owned and operated business that’s proud to provide prompt, reliable services and affordable prices. Call (708) 339-4100 to request a complimentary estimate for your demolition project in Chicago.