Demolition Archives - Alliance

Asbestos Demolition Inspection

If there is a building that needs to be demolished it needs to be checked if asbestos exists inside. State and local air program inspectors inspect renovation and demolition sites to determine if sites are in compliance with state standards.

If asbestos is found inside a building it needs to be inspected to avoid debris and asbestos fibers and an abatement company can do the removal process.

Having this in mind, recent news from a state in Oklahoma are having issues trying to demolish a building. The building contains asbestos but personnel does not want anyone to go inside the building because it is too dangerous. However, it is important to perform an asbestos abatement in the building in order to avoid any problems.

There is a tedious process that inspectors must do in order to avoid future problems like expose people to asbestos.

Examples of What Inspectors May Do Before A Demolition Is Perform:

  • Inspectors review notification documents.
  • Inspectors inspect the job sites to make sure it is safe.
  • Inspectors collect any documentation and evidence that is needed.
  • Inspector may do an asbestos survey

Alliance Environmental is a licensed California-based demolition contractor capable of handling most structural demolition projects, from taking apart all or part of a particular structure to clear the space it is built on, to renovating the demolished part of the structure.

You can Request a Free Estimate, or download a free copy of ourAsbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.

A Guide to a Good Demolition Safety Plan


As new cities are developing and more new buildings are being built, cities are also demolishing existing buildings. The demolition process is a complicated step and can also be dangerous. In previous years, there have been many accidents where many individuals get injured when a demolition occurs.

Why do these accidents happen? All situations are different, but sometimes because of a poorly executed demolition safety plan.

Basic Components for a Good Demolition Safety Plan

  • Insurance– Demolition Contractor should provide a current copy of their certificate of insurance and should be current during the whole process.
  • Permits-Demolition permits should be need to be present before a job starts.
  • Safety Equipment-Hazard protection devices for job safety should be worn and in the site at all times. Warning signs should also be put around the perimeter of the site.
  • Survey (Engineering Survey)-A crucial step is to have a demolition contractor complete this survey to determine whether the property is safe. This can include making sure that asbestos and lead based paint is taken care of prior to the demolition.

Above are the basic components that will help the demolition contractor and the whole team be safe. In addition, also keep spectators safe during the implosion process.

Creating and following a demolition safety plan will ensure the safety of the public, employees and contractors.

Alliance Environmental is a licensed California-based demolition contractor capable of handling most structural demolition projects, from taking apart all or part of a particular structure to clear the space it is built on, to renovating the demolished part of the structure.

You can Request a Free Estimate, or download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.

Buildings Red-Tagged After Earthquake

We hope everyone had a relaxed and safe Labor Day weekend. As well all go back to work and many back to school many business owners in Napa Valley are still rattled by the earthquake that hit the area a couple of days ago. There has been about 90 aftershocks ever since the earthquake hit. Even though about 95% of wineries have opened it will take day by day for business to pick up because more and more buildings are being red tagged each day. When a building gets red tagged it means it is unsafe for occupancy. Some of the buildings that were red tagged are historic buildings and buildings that have been in Napa for many years. Buildings get red tagged for numerous reasons:

  • Debris.
  • Parts of a building may collapse.
  • Buildings around other buildings may be close to other buildings that are not safe.
  • Water has settled inside mold can be found
  • Gas Leaks
  • Structural Damage

Those are examples that can lead a building to be red tagged after an earthquake. If buildings are old and lead paint exists it is dangerous because lead dust could have been present when the earthquake happen. When mold is present mold spores can be found in the air as well. It is a tough situation but it will take day by day. We will keep you updated and visit the City of Napa website for more information on this event and to see an interactive information map to see all yellow and red tagged structures in the area.

Aftermath of the Napa Earthquake

Days have passed since the scary earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay Area. The earthquake was a magnitude of 6.0 and it was centered near the city of Napa.Our Team has been contacted to help clean up. Read our blog post about what the company is doing and other tips we offer. The aftermath of recovering from an earthquake is difficult for everyone who was involved. According to the United States Geological Survey the earthquake lasted 10-20 seconds and struck six miles south of Napa. Water mains and gas lines ruptured, glass broke, great damage was seen in many buildings. In the city of Napa, 120 buildings have been red-tagged because they are too dangerous to enter and 500 buildings have been yellow tagged because they are in need of repairs.

California is known to have earthquakes and aftershocks than any other state but not many residents have earthquake insurance. Under federal programs homeowners without earthquake insurance can qualify for $30,000 in cash aid and can take out loans with low interest to fix and replace property. Those with insurance would be eligible for assistance by their insurance to pay for uncovered losses. However, many residents do not purchase earthquake insurance for financial reasons. If one can afford it, shop around to find what will benefit in the long run and ask your insurance if it can be an add on. We also recommend using the USGS map to check how prone your area is. If at higher risk, check what ground your home or business is built on because the type of structure plays a significant role. For instance brick may be shaken up while a building built in a flexible wood frame may last through a shake.

Earthquakes can be unpredictable but there are several companies that are here to help and we are one of them. Our demolition and cleanup division can remove any material safely and if demolition is needed we follow strict procedures to keep everyone around safe. The Seattle Times shares a guide to earthquake preparedness to secure your home. It is better to be prepared even if we do not know when another quake will hit then to be unprepared.

Natural Disaster Cleanup: Wine in Napa Valley

Photo by Lig Ynnek via Flickr Creative Commons

The largest earthquake since 1989 hit wine country this weekend and our beloved Napa Valley wineries have a big cleanup project ahead. This is not your dinner guest’s red wine stain on the carpet!

It’s hard to think of a worse place for an earthquake for California businesses and tourism–buildings filled with glass bottles holding irreplaceable beverages! But that’s where it hit.

What are we doing to help clean up from the Napa Valley earthquake?

We are getting calls to help clean up from this terrible natural disaster and we have our teams in place already. We are cleaning up:

  • Tons of broken glass and dangerous glass shards
  • Broken wooden barrels
  • Wine–ever open a bad bottle? Leave it where it is and it will draw mold spores like crazy!
  • Water used to clean up is another mold risk
  • Other dangerous materials exposed by the earthquake, like asbestos
Alliance’s Power Washing services are hard at work!

Our tips for smaller wine spills:

  • Treat the stain right away–don’t wait until your guests go home or for morning. Get to it as soon as you can.
  • Blot–do not rub–excess wine with paper towels or something you don’t mind getting stained.
  • Rinse with cold water–hot will set the stain–preferably from behind, if you can lift the fabric. Blot the water up immediately after rinsing.
There are lots of home remedies for small wine spills: salt, selzer, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, even shaving cream. Some recommend using white wine to get red wine out! The most important factor in them all–speed!
Some winery buildings are so damaged that they can no longer be used, and those will need demolition teams. Other facilities will be structurally sound, but their interiors will need to be completely cleaned out and made ready for a fresh start in the new winemaking season.
Alliance is ready for any and all disaster cleanup projects. Our highly trained and experienced teams are used to working with organic materials of all sorts–and that includes wine! Contact Alliance for help in Napa or anywhere in California for help recovering from natural disasters.
When you live in earthquake country, you are always crossing your fingers that the epicenter of the next “big one” will be far, far away, but this time it was the Napa Valley wineries that had bad luck. Alliance CEO Joe McLean’s tip to me this morning: drink the wine before it hits the floor! That’s a great idea–maybe a better early warning system will give us a chance to do just that!

How to Find a Good Contractor? 7 Common Traits of Bad Contractors

Every job has its own unique demands, and sometimes those demands will outstretch the capacity of your firm. That’s when it becomes necessary to hire a subcontractor to complete the smaller tasks in order to get the greater job done. While some contractors have long-standing, productive relationships with subcontractors, others must choose from a list of whoever is available. Making the wrong choice can be costly to a contractor’s finances and reputations. How to find a good contractor? Avoid choosing the bad ones; here are a few red flags to watch.

1. Insurance

The obvious knee-jerk response to this issue is that one should always avoid working with anyone who is uninsured. That is certain. However, it goes deeper. A subcontractor that has cut-rate insurance might also be a major hazard to work with because that is the sign of someone who doesn’t prioritize safety. Thus it’s not simply a question of “if” the subcontractor has insurance, but also what kind of insurance they have.

2. Licensed… Locally… and Recently

This is another issue where the details matter. Yes, one should avoid hiring anyone who is unlicensed, but it goes deeper. Also avoid hiring people who are licensed in other regions, but not locally. For example, a California contractor should not hire a subcontractor who is licensed in Arizona and Nevada, but not California. That person could likely get the job done, but there is still a heavy risk. Similarly, avoid anyone whose license has expired, even temporarily. Sure, they might be able to get the job done, but there is a risk. This applies to the subcontractor and whoever they hire.

3. Experience

Good subcontractors have years of experience and are willing to discuss their past work. They don’t take offense to questions about their body of work, and in fact encourage it. They can provide details of what they did, the exact timeline they worked on, and the results of their labor. On the other hand, bad subcontractors shy away from any questions about their past body of work, often because they have little-to-no experience in the task asked of them. They also cannot provide specifics of their work. Make sure that they not only have industry experience, but that it is specific to the task at hand.

4. Working Off-Contract

Good subcontractors will always want everything in writing, and they will follow their contracts to the letter. Bad subcontractors often avoid putting things in writing, as it gives them the freedom to do whatever they want and allows them to dodge accountability. In every business transaction, make sure that the contracts are detailed, signed, and followed closely.

5. Unconventional Payment Plans

Watch out for anyone who demands money in unusual manners, such as large payments upfront, or payments for partially completing a task rather than doing it to full completion. These are a signs of disorganization, budgetary instability (which can collapse a whole project) and inexperience.

6. Cheap Quality

While it’s not necessarily a bad thing to hire a subcontractor that offers a low price for their services, it’s important to pay close attention to how they operate to ensure that cheapness doesn’t trickle into performance. Does the sub also use cheap equipment? Do they purchase low-quality materials for a job? Are they content to complete a task below industry standards?

7. Referrals

Good work leads to good referrals from past clients. Great subcontractors will gladly share the contact information of past clients because they know that client will have good things to say about them. The bad ones will conveniently “misplace” referrals, all of which would like have negative comments. Some simply do not have any referrals to offer, either due to a reputation for poor-quality or due to no experience.

In the end, the important thing is to judge a subcontractor by their actions rather than by their words. If all of their licenses, certifications, body of work and referrals are of high quality, then there will be nothing to worry about. However, if there is an inconsistency or shortcoming in any area, then approach with caution.

Download a free copy of our Don’t Get Sued! eBook to learn about mitigating liability risks associated with asbestos, lead paint, and mold.

$75 Million Lawsuit Over Mold at the Board of Equalization Building

Yesterday in Airtek’s blog we talked about indoor air quality in commercial buildings and how mold can affect not only the air quality in a building but also the health of employees. A recent news broke out that several state workers are suing the California Board of Equalization for $75 million for not providing a safe workplace for years and exposing employees to health hazards.

The suit alleges state officials fraudently concealed the existence of hazardous substances while employees were working the building. The suit alleges that employees were exposed to toxic mold and other substances like toxic chemicals. In addition, mold problems were a big concern dating from the 1990’s. In 1995, there was serious visible water damage causing mold growth. Afterwards in the beginning of 2000 until this year, concerns of finding mold in the building increased.

The building became a “sick building” because mold growth was finding in different areas of the building. Employees in the year 2008 were concerned that mold was not entirely removed and it was concealed to appear that the mold was removed.According to the plaintiff’s as well is that mold was also found in the ducts. Throughout those years many employees had symptoms that people have when exposed to mold.The plaintiff states that “Mold exists throughout the Headquarters Building and is causing employees to be ill and management is aware of this.”

The building has had a long history of defects and many repairs have been done to the building. Many of those repairs include replacing exterior glass, corroded plumbing lines and duct work has also been done.We will keep you updated with the lawsuit but to read more information visit ieconnections for further details on this case.

If there is mold and you know about it and it is covered up and can cost you millions.No employee should work in conditions where mold exists and where the working environment is uncomfortable for them. Listen to the concerns that employees have to avoid serious problems.

For professional and expert mold removal contact Alliance Environmental who provides safe, efficient, clean and high quality services for our customers and partners. Alliance Environmental is a licensed mold removal and remediation contractor and our services include proper containment and removal as well as thorough site decontamination.

To schedule an appointment with us or if you have any questions regarding our services please contact us and we can be of assistance.

Demolition Projects in California

There has been many demolition projects in California.Two of the main demolition projects have been the process of two projects that will take a couple of years to be completed. The first project is the beginning of demolishing buildings in Central Valley. Recently a building in Fresno was demolished in preparation for California’s High Speed Rail Construction. Many more buildings will be demolished as time passes in the Central Valley where the high speed rail will pass through a 29 mile segment.

The second project will be completed in about two years from now. A couple of days ago, a shopping mall is coming down slowly in Sacramento and will be transformed into a new arena for the Sacramento Kings. As time passes by many buildings will be demolished, mainly the easter section of the Downtown Plaza shopping mall. There is a lot of work to be done because the building is intended to be open in October 2016. These projects are exciting and the development process is as exciting as well. However,the preparation of these demolition projects takes time to plan out because it is a sophisticated business done by professionals who are highly trained experts. During these two projects safe work practices will be used that protect everyone involved in the project and the environment.

There are several common misconceptions of demolition. Our friends at Demolition Association created a visual on false and true facts about demolition. To learn more about the demolition services we provide contact us. Alliance Environmental is a licensed California-based demolition contractor capable of handling most structural demolition projects, from taking apart all or part of a particular structure to clear the space it is built on, to renovating the demolished part of the structure.


Demolition and Asbestos

When a demolition is going to take place, there needs to be specific preparations that need to take place. For example, performing asbestos abatement, removing hazardous materials, obtaining permits and developing safety and work plans. However, when these precautions are not taken into consideration, debris can become a significant danger especially if there might have been asbestos before the demolition. Recently in Oregon, The Department of Environmental Quality took action against a building contractor for not checking for asbestos in a home before demolishing took place. It is a scary thought to know that debris can could be anywhere and individuals can be exposed to this debris that can become dangerous. Asbestos fibers are a known human carcinogen. When fibers enter the body lung cancer and mesothelioma can develop. There are four steps that create a successful demolition and renovation project to prevent asbestos fibers from being exposed in the air.

1. Inspection- Inspect the facility where the demolition or renovation will take place and inspect if there is any presence of asbestos.

2.Notification-Notifying those who are working on the projects and notify those who are working in the workplace if asbestos is present.

3.Removal-Use safe work practices to ensure materials in the demolition or renovation project are not dispersed in the environment and are sealed tight in proper containers.

4.Disposal- Waste and materials need to be properly managed and disposed of.

Most importantly, is to inspect the area that will go through demolition or a renovation. Prevention is key and the health of employees and the environment are important. If you have any questions regarding demolition, Alliance Environmental is a licensed California-based demolition contractor capable of handling most structural demolition projects, from taking apart all or part of a particular structure to clear the space it is built on, to renovating the demolished part of the structure. Our highly-qualified demolition team has several certifications from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and are well-versed in LEED requirements and regulations.

ThermaPureHeat for Construction Dryouts

There are many reasons that new construction can be done with wet lumber:

Green wood used for building
Wet weather during construction or delivery of materials
High humidity
Working more quickly than wood can dry

Unfortunately, the use of green or damp lumber in new construction can lead to mold problems before a house is even complete. You can have a sick building before you have a building at all!

How dry is dry enough?

The USDA recommends wood used in construction be between 15% and 19% moisture. Eventually, the moisture content of wood used in construction will level out relative to the climate of the area where the structure is built, which could be a very low 6% or as much as 12% in damper climates. Problems crop up, however, because of shrinkage of the wood after construction is complete.

What kind of problems arise from using wood with a high moisture level?

Using lumber for framing that is too wet leads to all sorts of problems including:

Leakage of air around doors and windows, increasing the cost and inefficiency of heating and air conditioning systems


Squeaky floors, doors and windows


Weak ceilings and roof deformation


Doors and windows which may not open or close properly

Unfortunately, these problems are difficult or impossible to fix later, so it is important to avoid them during construction.

There are also health issues associated with the use of wet lumber in construction. Anything that is damp can be a haven for mold growth, and new construction is not immune. Even if your home has never had a leak, you can have mold growing in the framing that you cannot see, but only suffer from symptoms which include: headaches, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, infection and even death.


The best way to prevent all of these problems is to dry out the framing before enclosure and the best way to do that is with the ThermaPureHeat process. ThermaPureHeat reduces the level of moisture in timber framing 6-12%, allowing it to reach a moisture level balanced with the climate, and allowing the structure stabilize before enclosure. ThermaPureHeat prepares framing for the process of becoming a safe and healthy home.

Alliance Environmental Group offers ThermaPureHeat for construction drying, as well as mold remediation, pest controltermite treatment and odor reduction, all of which we will be discussing on the blog. If you are in California and are building a new house, make sure the wood used in your framing is dry and balanced with your climate. Take a look at the wood and make sure it isn’t moldy. If the wood is wet, green or has mold issues, contact Alliance for a high heat treatment with ThermaPureHeat to be sure that your structure will be stable and healthy before you get too far into the construction process!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. We welcome your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!