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Understanding Demolition in the State of Alabama

You'll need to have your structure inspected before demolishing it.

An Alabama-licensed inspector must survey all structures before demolishing, renovating, or burning a structure for fire training purposes. 

In addition, all friable and category II non-friable asbestos-containing materials (ACM) must be removed from structures before they are demolished.

Category I non-friable ACM typically does not have to be removed from a structure before demolition if no materials are going to be recycled. 

A demolition notification form must be submitted prior to beginning.

Yes. Alabama regulations require that a notification form be submitted to the appropriate agency 10 business days prior to beginning your project if it involves the following:

  • Demolition (with or without asbestos-containing material)
  • Renovation in which 260 linear feet, 160 square feet, or 35 cubic feet of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) is to be removed
  • Burning a structure for fire training 

Your demolition contractor will typically handle this for you, but be sure to clear this up with them.

Notifications can be sent via mail, email, or hand delivered to one of the following, depending on the location of your demolition:

City of Huntsville
Mr. Scott Cardno
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
City of Huntsville
P.O. Box 308
Huntsville, AL 35804

Jefferson County
Mr. Craig Tucker
Air and Radiation Protection Division
Jefferson County Department of Health
P.O. Box 2648
Birmingham, AL 35202

All other areas
Mr. Don Barron
ADEM—Air Division
P.O. Box 301463
Montgomery, AL 36130

Make sure your contractor is properly licensed.

In Alabama, a general contractor must be licensed if they are taking on a demolition project in which the cost of labor and materials is $50,000 or more ($5,000 or more for pool removal). 

In order for a contractor to even submit bids in the state of Alabama, they must have be properly licensed. Subcontractors can submit bids prior to being licensed, but they have to be licensed before beginning work.

There are special rules regarding the removal of materials containing lead-based paint.

Any contractor or company performing lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, abatement, or renovation services must undergo the Alabama Lead Contractors Certification Program, which consists of abatement and renovation certifications.

Demolition debris must be disposed of properly.

All demolition debris from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings is considered regulated solid waste and must be disposed of in a permitted construction/demolition landfill.

Some items, like uncontaminated concrete, bricks, asphalt, and soil can be disposed of separately, i.e. recycled. Oftentimes, these kinds of items can be "clean loaded" into a dumpster for a lower price; that is—a single type of material is loaded into a dumpster so it can be hauled directly to a designated recycling facility.

Similarly, materials containing hazardous materials, like asbestos or lead-based paint, must be disposed of separately. Hazardous materials from a residential structure can be disposed of in any permitted landfill, but hazardous materials from other structures must be disposed of in a designated lined landfill constructed with leachate collection and groundwater monitoring. 

NOTE: Alabama Demolition of Environmental Management (ADEM) recommends that each demolition contract requires receipts proving that the demolition debris was properly disposed of. In Alabama, illegal dumping is all too common, and ADEM will take enforcement action against the person dumping, the person who hired the person dumping, and even the landowner where the dumping takes place.

Dumpsters are a great way to contain demolition debris.

Many contractors may include the price of hauling in their quote for demolition, so be sure to ask when calling around to different companies. However, if they don't, you'll likely have to haul the debris to a landfill yourself or rent a dumpster to have another company haul it away for you.

Hometown Dumpster Rental is the easiest way to find a reliable local dumpster provider near you. You can read up on various companies, see what past customers have to say about their services, and contact them directly—all in one convenient place.

If you're a first-time renter, learn more about dumpster pricing and dumpster sizing to ensure you get the best deal on your dumpster rental.

Consider deconstruction to save money (and the environment).

Rather than demolishing your home in one fell swoop the ol' fashioned mechanical way, consider deconstructing your house first.

Deconstruction is a fast-growing trend in which structures are carefully dismantled in order to salvage any reusable materials.

This significantly reduces the materials going into our landfills, and actually saves you money in the long run. Oftentimes, charitable organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, are willing to deconstruct your house for free in exchange for the materials they salvage.


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