Understanding The Materials Present During Demolition

Mar 1, 2024

Demolition waste is a mixture of building materials that can include aggregate, concrete, brick, wood, insulation, metal, glass, and much more. Often, these materials can be contaminated with paints, fasteners, adhesives, wall coverings, dirt, and even asbestos. In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates that project owners identify and outline a site’s designated substances and inform any potential contractors before finalizing the project.

The experts at Triple M Demolition (TMD) take the time to understand the materials that are present during demolition in order to ensure safety for everyone present at the site and for the environment.

Hazardous Material Education

In the past, many people were not well educated about the effects of the presence of hazardous materials during demolition. Now, we are all much more aware and educated about the types of hazardous materials that can be present during demolition. There are government regulations, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure that safety practices are in place to protect workers. When hazardous building materials are found, it is vital to dispose of them properly, due to the high risk of harm to human health and the environment.

Types of Hazardous Materials

Some of the hazardous materials that can be present during demolition include, but are not limited to:

  • Building materials containing asbestos
  • Lead paint and paint thinners
  • Mercury (found in fluorescent lamps, switches, thermostats, etc.)
  • Oil, lubricants, and fuels
  • Batteries
  • Glues and solvents
  • Freon (cooling system chemical)
  • Compressed gases
  • Arsenic (found in pressure treated wood)

The Importance of Safe Demolition

Before beginning any project, we complete a formal risk assessment that ensures the job is completed in a safe and responsible manner. TMD obtains substance reports from professional engineering firms, including Pinchin, who conduct analysis of material prior to starting any job. All aspects of a job site will be assessed by a health and safety team, and operations team, to identify any potential risks. This team will then develop a plan to ensure the safe execution of the demolition project.

Assessments prior to demolition are integral to make sure that if hazardous building materials are present, they are safely removed to protect the health and safety of workers, people living in the surrounding area, and the environment. During these assessments, the TMD team will also review the appropriate demolition methods to reduce and eliminate environmental impact.

Removing All Waste from Demolition

At TMD, we work with approved recycling facilities to repurpose, recycle, and resell material. Facilities include: Moffatt Scrap Iron & Metal for the recycling and repurposing of all ferrous and non-ferrous metals that are demolished on our jobs, and Aevitas for lighting and oil recycling. Construction debris is recycled at waste management facilities, and we work to get these materials to a source that will repurpose and sell them, or use them to create new materials. Repurposing scrapped materials helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy, and preserve finite natural resources.

Contact us at Triple M Demolition if you have any questions about the safe removal of hazardous materials, or with any of your demolition questions.