(From the City of Joplin)
When demolishing your tornado-damaged structure, there are important steps to take to ensure that the job is done safely and correctly. Here are some pointers to help you stay on track:
Remove remaining personal property – only if it’s safe to do so.
Notify mortgage or lien holder of your intent to demolish, particularly if the property is collateral on an outstanding loan.
Contact insurance company to collect demolition proceeds or to get help hiring a professional, certified contractor to perform the work.
Obtain Utility Release from City of Joplin Building Division, 4th floor, City Hall, 602 S. Main St. This release must be signed by each utility – electric, gas, water – before a city Demolition Permit can be issued. This is an important safety requirement to ensure that all utilities have been cleared before demolition begins.
Return signed Utility Release to Joplin Building Division to get a Demolition Permit, which is required before proceeding. Demo permits are free until Dec. 31, 2011.
Take photographs of the lot/damaged structures for your records.
Day of Demolition:
Verify structure is unoccupied – even if you haven’t been staying there yourself. Animals
may have taken refuge there since the tornado.
Verify that well/water/sewer/septic lines have been capped.
If removing trees, stumps, basements, crawl spaces, footings, slabs, etc., be sure you know the location of underground lines prior to removal to avoid damaging that infrastructure.
Be safe. Workers should wear a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes. Wear a mask, preferably N-95, to avoid inhaling dust particulates and other airborne fibers. If the house is older than 1980, it probably contains asbestos so take appropriate precautions, particularly with eye protection and a mask, N-100 or greater.
Carefully deconstruct the remaining structure. If transite siding is present, do not break up or crush; bag in clear, plastic bags. Slabs, crawl spaces and basements do not need to be removed if they are structurally sound and you are planning to build back on the same footprint. If reusing the slab, crawl space or basement, consider having it evaluated by a structural engineer before investing in a new structure on that foundation.
Segregate debris at the curbside into the following piles: vegetative, white goods, electronic waste, construction and demolition debris, household hazardous waste, small, motorized equipment, shingles, and concrete from slabs, crawl spaces or basements. If possible, bag any suspected asbestos-containing materials (insulation, transite siding, etc.) in a clear, plastic bag. Do not leave loose asbestos on the curbside.
Fill in remaining ground depressions with clean, fill dirt to alleviate trip hazards and eliminate places where water can pool and breed mosquitoes. Do not use mined chat. If you are not rebuilding, you need to plant grass seed to control soil erosion.
Put up temporary fencing around open underground spaces or pools to protect children and others from accidentally falling in, if you will be rebuilding on your lot.
Leave a clean, mowable lot behind, if you will not be rebuilding on your lot.
Consider insuring your lot to provide liability protection in case someone comes onto your property and gets injured before a structure is built and/or other insurance is in place.
If you’re going to rebuild, get insurance that provides risk coverage for you, as the home or property owner, and for the builder, to provide financial protection during rebuilding.
If you are hiring a contractor to do the work:
Make sure they are licensed in the City of Joplin. Also, use someone who is bonded and insured. Ask for proof of licensing, bonding and insurance.
Get at least three bids, in writing, if possible before choosing your contractor.
Make sure the contract clearly states that the contractor will haul the debris away to a proper disposal site. It cannot be pushed to the curbside, public rights-of-way or onto someone else’s property. Ask the contractor to provide copies of landfill tickets to prove that the material was properly disposed.
Don’t pay the entire amount up front. Agree to a final payment when the job is finished and the lot is in a clean, mowable condition as required by the City of Joplin.
For more information, contact the Joplin Building Division at 417-624-0820