Most people imagine a demolition looks something like the demolition scene in Oceans 11; a massive building crumbles in on itself and all that’s left is a cloud of dust. Or maybe a demolition done using a wrecking ball; it’s loud, hardcore and intense. But there is one type of demolition that is typically unseen from the outside: interior demolition.

The Purpose of an Interior Demolition

As the name suggests, an interior demolition involves stripping the interior building components of a structure. This type of demolition is typically used in remodeling projects. An interior demolition project may include digging floor trenches and removing slabs, drywall, stud walls, flooring, appliances, non-load-bearing walls, cabinets or concrete walls. 

If an old office building is being turned into a warehouse space, the interior walls may be removed to create an open area. Interior demolition may also be a necessary step in the mold remediation or asbestos removal process.

Planning and Preparing for Interior Demolition

Before beginning an interior demolition, the building owner is required to shut off all utilities and notify neighboring building occupants of the upcoming demolition project. Building owners are also required to obtain city permits before the project can be started.

The demolition company will inspect the following items in the building:

  • Appliances
  • Caulking
  • Electrical systems
  • HVAC system
  • Insulation in ceilings and walls
  • Plumbing
  • Meters and switches
  • Building materials 
  • Lighting fixtures/ballasts and bulbs/lamps
  • Batteries
  • Computers and other electronics
  • Exit signs

The demolition company will also look for common hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). 

Debris Removal

A dumpster will be brought on site to dispose of the materials as they are removed. Depending on the size of the interior demolition project, a dumpster can be as long as 30 or 40 yards. The demolition company will take steps to make sure the waste is properly disposed or diverted from landfills by salvaging and reselling or recycling. Because interior demolition is done by hand, rather than huge machinery, it is easier to identify material that can be recycled.