The demolition of residential structures often generates significant quantities of concrete waste. Gone are the days when such waste would inadvertently end up as non-biodegradable materials in a landfill.
Crushed concrete can be re-used for different purposes or it can be recycled. This article provides a few insights that will help you determine whether to re-use or recycle crushed concrete.
When To Re-Use
DIY-minded homeowners often think that they can only re-use crushed concrete as a sub-base for a new asphalt driveway or patio. For this reason, many homeowners end up recycling crushed concrete for "lack" of an alternative use for the crushed aggregate.
If you live in an area that is prone to termite infestations or if you've had to deal with an infestation in the past, you could use the crushed concrete to prevent such an occurrence. You can use it to create a physical barrier between your house and the soil that surrounds the house. Pouring crushed concrete at the point of contact between the soil and the foundation of your house creates a rough terrain, thereby making it difficult for termites to get through the concrete as they migrate into the house.
If termites are not a problem in your locality, you could still use the crushed concrete as a bedding material for residential drainage pipes. The bedding provides protection for underground utility lines by absorbing much of the external load that would have been transmitted to the pipe, thereby causing damage.
When To Recycle
It would be safe to assert that you should only recycle crushed concrete when you have no other alternative use for the rubble. However, certain circumstances may force you to recycle crushed concrete even when you might have alternative uses for it.
For example, if the demolished concrete structure had been painted using a lead-based paint, it may not be wise to re-use the crushed concrete. This is because the paintwork is bound to be have been disturbed by the demolition exercise and this may release lead into the atmosphere or into your drinking water (if the crushed concrete is used as a bedding material for drainage pipes). This might expose you and your family to the risk of lead poisoning.
You also might not want to re-use crushed concrete if the concrete is contaminated with asbestos containing materials (e.g. asbestos cement sheeting and roof shingles). Re-using asbestos-contaminated concrete exposes you to the risk of several health complications that may arise from constant exposure to asbestos fibres (e.g. lung cancer).
For more information contact professionals like South Coast Concrete Crushing & Recycling.