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What You Should Know Before Demolition Begins
bulldozers on a demolition siteBefore demolition starts, there are several boxes to check in terms of achieving a demolition permit. The owner of the property, as well as the demolition company, needs to be well aware of what is required for the safe, legal, and responsible demolition of a commercial or residential structure. Let’s take a look at 7 aspects of the criteria to investigate before acquiring a demolition permit. Keep in mind that these requirements may vary by location.

1. Notifying Neighboring Property Owners

In many places, an informational meeting with neighboring property owners and residents is required before obtaining a demolition permit. Depending on the location and the requirement of this meeting, there may be necessary documentation that proves that the meeting took place, what information was discussed, a plan for the demolition, and how the neighboring residents of business owners will be impacted.

2. City Utility Disconnection Permits

The demolition coordinator needs to obtain a permit for disconnection from city utility companies, including water, sewer, electricity, and gas-providing entities. Frequently, this permit will come with a certain fee averaging around $75 to cover administrative costs as well as a professional inspection of the lines that will be disconnected. These lines must be professionally disconnected or capped off before demolition can commence for the safety of the public.

3. Professional Asbestos Inspections

Many areas will require residential properties be professionally inspected for the presence of asbestos before a demolition permit can be acquired. These inspectors who are frequently employed by government entities must be allowed access to specific areas of the property that is to be demolished to determine if asbestos was used in the construction of the property. These inspections may include looking over beams, ceilings, furnaces, boilers, water storage tanks, wall panels, siding, roofing, and any other areas. If the inspector finds what they believe to be asbestos material, further laboratory testing will confirm such findings. If lab testing confirms the presence of asbestos, the material must be removed and disposed of in compliance with all local and federal laws concerning asbestos handling and disposal.

4. Septic Tank or Well Demolition

Before a property can be demolished and repurposed, if a water well or septic sewage system is found to exist on the property, it must also be appropriately disposed of or duly filled in compliance with local ordinances. A certified well or septic professional must then verify that the septic tank or well has been properly demolished or buried before further demolition can commence.

5. Demolition Post Signage

When demolition permits are assigned, the building and code departments of your local municipality will issue demolition signs for public display. The departments will determine for how long the signs must be displayed to protect the public from any injury or inconvenience resulting from the demolished property.

6. Contact of the Local Police and Fire Departments

Before demolition can be carried out, many areas will require informing police and fire departments of such activities. Not only does this activity keep the local authorities aware of your legal intent to properly demolish a property but can also sometimes play into your favor because some fire departments will ask if they can use your property for fire training exercises. If so, this would waive specific fire regulations that would inhibit you from demolishing a property by fire, sometimes a more affordable demolition option.

7. Property Securing

Before demolition can commence, many local authorities will require securing the property for a certain period. This property securing measure helps to protect property owners from trespassers and thieves, vagrants from injury, and the public from the property’s hazards.

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