When it comes to industrial chimney and smokestack demolition, the task can be tricky. It requires specialized skills and techniques. Unique structures, confined spaces, and age can make smokestack demolition a challenge that many plants and other facilities face.
Within the industry of controlled demolition, it is vital to ensure that the smokestacks collapse in a proper fashion to minimize the physical damage to any of the immediate surroundings. We have years of experience, state of the art equipment, and our team of technicians are highly trained, and can handle this type of demolition work.
Occasionally, the demolition of an industrial chimney or smokestack will require the stack to be dismantled piece by piece instead of brought down with explosives or heavy equipment. While there is always a risk of an accident, if the process of removing a chimney, stack, or tower is not done professionally, the risk rises exponentially.
Accidents still do happen. For instance, in 2010, a nearly 300-foot smokestack being demolished at an old power plant in Springfield, OH, toppled in the wrong direction and sent spectators scrambling before knocking down two 12,000-volt power lines, crashing onto a structure housing back-up generators, and sending spectators running to avoid the sparking lines.
In that particular incident, the demolition crew placed the explosives properly, and they were detonated correctly. However, an undetected crack on one side of the tower caused it to topple in the opposite direction.
Of course, there’s video upon video of buildings being crushed, and nuclear-level waves of smoke when a smokestack demolition goes wrong. In order to avoid these types of disasters we stick to the following two safety procedures:
Piece by Piece
If you are lucky enough to have a factory in the middle of nowhere, the classic way – i.e., detonation – may be the best for you. However, most industrial sites exist where they’re needed: in the middle of bustling cities. Often times in these cases, the space may not tolerate the landing. Instead, we recommend a piecemeal smokestack dismantlement. It will take more time to complete, but it is sure to be the safer option.
Don’t Rush It
We know better than most that time is money. However, time is also what’s needed to safely carry out a piecemeal chimney dismantlement. The longer our teams have to do the job, the lower the chances that an accident will occur; even something as (relatively) insignificant as dropping a single brick can cause damage when it hits the ground. It’s a much better idea to let our team of professionals handle the situation on a timetable that ensures safety.
E & K Contractors has the expertise and reputation to ensure a safe, efficient, and cost-effective job, which can result in very little down time. We are able to utilize rope access and innovating rigging techniques to effectively and efficiently remove structures when large construction equipment may not be practical.
To find out more, you can contact our office and schedule a time for one of our team members to inspect your site and provide an estimate for your job.