No two buildings are the same. You find that out real quick once you start knocking them over. That’s one of the fun parts of the job – demolition shows their true colors. Some are sturdy, some are rotted out. Some were built to last, some should have come down many years ago. Break them apart, and you’ll find they all make use of metal, wood, and concrete just a little bit differently.

The State of the Car Wash

So what was going on with this car wash? Well, for one, a very significant portion of it was wood. You don’t see that as much in modern self-serve car wash buildings. It’s a lot more common to see concrete walls with the bare-minimum metal roof to keep out the rain. That makes for a shockingly simple commercial demolition process. After all, the walls are just there to keep you from spraying your dirt onto the next car over. The roof is just there to keep the rain out. There’s no air conditioning to worry about, barely any electrical, and the water pipes are largely underground. What stands above ground is basically a row of car-size cubicles. But this one? This one had a nice roof and a clean front for style. Demolition might take a bit longer.

The Cause of the Demolition

Unfortunately, a nice roof and a clean front face aren’t enough to save you if the customers just aren’t there. This car wash had seen better days, and it was long past its prime. The sign had faded, the vacuums were worn out, and the large wooden roof showed signs of real aging. In a booming market this might warrant a major makeover. But this car wash had the unfortunate indignity of not being quite close enough to the suburban residential area to be a neighborhood staple while also not facing a major road and drawing in commuter traffic. And so, sadly, the owners called us in for a full commercial structure demolition.

How to Demolish a Car Wash

One of the most important jobs in any demolition project is the separation of the materials. Usually it’s a fairly bland process of picking bits of one material out of a pile of another (metal from wood, for example). But with this car wash, the process was a little bit funnier. The excavator operator started by smashing the roof down, as is typical in demolition jobs like this. However, a typical building will have concrete walls on the exterior and then wood on the inside. That would allow him to gather up all of the waste in a nice pile in the middle and take the shell of the building last. But in this case, each “booth” was concrete, while only the roof was wood. And so a solution was devised – he knocked all of the wood down into the booths and then then used his bucket as a gigantic broom to sweep them clear. It’s hard to describe in words, but clear and brilliant if you watch the video embedded above.

Once the wood debris was swept up and carried away, all that left was concrete. Section by section, wall by wall, the excavator operator pushed it all into one big pile of cinderblock rubble. Trucks cycled in and out, carrying loads of concrete back to our recycling yard, where we process all of the concrete from our demolition jobs into gravel for future construction. When the walls and structures were gone, he finished out the job by pulling up the footer that the building stood on before. We left the site of the former car wash as a smooth, clean patch of dirt – ready for construction to begin on whatever comes next.

Contact us for Commercial Demolition

If you have a car wash (or any other commercial building) that you think could use a dose of demolition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will send a professional estimator out to you to make sure that we can get you an accurate and effective quote from the very first day. Let’s work together. Let’s demolish something fun.