What is Chemical Demolition? The Silent Jackhammer

When one thinks of demolition services, they probably imagine sledgehammers, jackhammers, wrecking balls or even explosives. There is a growing side to demolition that has been embraced by a wide array of demolition professionals — chemical demolition.

The Gist of Chemical Demolition

Have you ever left a filled glass in the freezer too long, only to open the freezer door and find that the glass is broken? You’ve just taken part in chemical demolition! The reason the glass broke was not totally due to its weakness but instead the chemical change in water when frozen. When water freezes, it expands. Being that it was contained within a glass, the expanding ice breaks the glass. In the process of chemical demolition on an industrial level, a chemical agent is used to fracture concrete structures from within.

The Process of Chemical Demolition

Step 1: Holes are strategically drilled in a concrete structure such as a foundation or wall. These run almost the full depth of the wall, but do not run all the way through.

Step 2: A chemical demolition agent is mixed together with water. It usually comes in powder form is highly reactant to water. Once mixed, time is of the essence.

Step 3: The mixed chemical demolition agent is poured or pumped into the drilled holes in the concrete structure. This mixed agent can be fluid-like, soupy, or even the consistency of pancake batter depending on the type of agent or its use. Sometimes preexisting cracks in concrete structures are used in place of drilled holes.

Step 4: The mixed chemical demolition agent expands wherever it has settled, fracturing the concrete.

Step 5: Once the mixed chemical demolition agent has fully expanded, the fractured concrete debris is removed.

Chemical demolition is especially useful in areas where loud machinery and dust would be a major concern. While it may seem messier to work with, it’s often far less messy than jackhammered fragments and dust from typical concrete cutting and breaking.


To learn about the demolition services that have earned Oklahoma’s trust for years, feel free to check out DT Specialized Services.