Learning More About the Construction Industry

Why Have a Salvage Assessment Before Demolishing a Property?

As you talk to demolition contractors, they may offer you a salvage assessment before they take your building down. What does this assessment do, and why should you have one?

What Is a Salvage Assessment?

If you agree to a salvage assessment, your contractor evaluates the building and its contents when they check it out for demolition. Even if the property is empty, there are things in there that you don't have to throw away.

For example, even an empty building can contain things like plumbing pipes, doors, floors and windows that have a value. Even the building's bricks may be salvageable. Some of these materials will be recyclable. Others are reclaimable — somebody else can use them again either in their current condition or after some restoration work.

At the end of the assessment, your contractor should have a list of items that they can salvage. They do some of this work before the demolition starts and some during or after the process itself.

Why Have a Salvage Assessment?

There are a couple of good reasons to evaluate a property before demolition. This is an environmentally positive thing to do; you could also see some financial benefits. There will be materials in the property that are recyclable. They may not be fit for use now, but they don't necessarily need to go into landfill.

For example, you can recycle things like scrap metals, wood, and even concrete and plasterboard. Concrete can be crushed and reused as a construction material like aggregate; clean plasterboard is compostable.

The more materials you recycle out of the building, the more positive the environmental impact of the demolition will be. At the very least, this gives you a sense of satisfaction that you are doing the right thing.

Some materials in the property may also have a financial value. This typically applies to things that can be sold and used again. For example, some people buy used bricks for building projects. They may want a worn look to match existing bricks in their property. Old doors, fireplaces, wood floors and even windows can also have a vintage appeal. Some people like to kit their homes out with older fixtures and fittings.

If you have items in the property that will sell, then your demolition costs might decrease. If the contractor actively recycles and reclaims materials, then they may knock money off your bill to the value of the assessment list. To find out more about the benefits of salvaging, talk to demolition contractors and ask how they manage this process.