We smashed up a 7-Eleven in Westchase recently, just outside of Tampa. It had sat empty for a good long while before we got there, and this store was in rough shape. The signs had been taken long before we arrived, but if you squinted at the faded facade of the building, you could still see the outline of the logos.

Commercial Demolition Difficulties

Commercial demolitions are in some ways messier than residential demolitions, but in other ways they are much simpler. People don’t tend to leave old couches or rancid food inside of a 7-Eleven, but the structures and demands of the building tend to be more complex and more durable. For example, a small one story house is unlikely to have metal columns and cross-beams reinforcing its façade.

It is for this reason that commercial demolition often requires a lot more hands on the ground. The materials used on a commercial building are often much more varied than on a residential one. The excavator operator will do his best to sorts the metal from the concrete from the wood as the demolition progresses, but there need to be workers on the ground as well, helping to pick apart the materials.

The Windy Start of this Commercial Demolition

And so, on the first day of demolition, there were many hands on site. As the wind howled through the parking lot on that first chilly Monday morning, the excavator operator took his first big bites out of the building. He pulled away the metal frame that had once held the large glass windows and larger-than-life posters for Big Gulps and the like. Then he pulled down the signage, which had all but faded into nothingness. And then the real work began.

A Simple Workflow for Commercial Demolition

The flow was simple. The excavator would tear down and break up a large section of the store. Then the sifting began. As the operator churned the pile of debris and grabbed the largest pieces of metal, individual workers stepped in around him to pull out bits of railing, metal frames, and bits of shelving that could be recycled. When this pile of debris was largely sorted, the operator would swiftly scoop it up in its entirety and unceremoniously toss it into a dumpster or dump truck.

This process repeated, bit by bit, until the whole store had been chewed up and sort it out. When The concrete shell of the building was all that remained, that too was crushed and taken away. At the very last stage, the parking lot itself was rolled up and carted away, leaving nothing but a dirt lot behind to mark the place where a mighty convenience store once stood.

Conclusion

With a clear dirt lot, the new owners of the ex-7-Eleven could begin to imagine the future. If all goes according to plan, in its place will soon stand a small, boutique grocery store that specializes in frozen meals. And that future is only possible because the past was effectively and affordably dealt with.

If you find yourself saddled with buildings from the past but want to push forward into a better future, you might need to hire a demolition contractor like us. So please, if you have any questions or are ready to get rolling, reach out to us. We love working with people of all stripes and demolition of all types. We will send an estimator out to you, so that we can guarantee a fast, honest, and accurate quote right out of the gate. What do you have to lose?