What is the best way to remove building debris?

Recently our house burnt down. The house is rebuilt but there is quite a bit of debris mixed in the surrounding soil: nails, small scraps of metal, etc.

  9 answers
  • Gdk32796310 Gdk32796310 on Mar 01, 2018
    Hire a backhoe operator to dig a pit on your property and bury it if your lot is large enough. Cheaper than paying a backhoe and truck to haul it to a landfill and pay them by the ton.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 01, 2018
    Do not bury debris .....Rake up what you can and discard the remnants

  • Sorry, sloppy contractor, I would have them come back and clean it up. Extremely unprofessional to leave behind a littered site. What was stated in your contract???

  • Jcraw Jcraw on Mar 01, 2018
    So sorry for your loss and congrats on your new home. I think for a start I’d buy or borrow a metal detector. A good one. While I’m sure you’ve had a tetanus shot, that might not apply to guests. You can’t risk doing anything in that area with Spring around the corner.
    What is in the contracts? Surely there must be a condition for either the contractor who took the debris away, or the new builder re “clearing the site” of dangerous debris.

  • Russbow Russbow on Mar 01, 2018
    get a MAGNET. They make one that has little wheels on the ends, about 2' or so wide and a long handle to pull. It will remove all the steel. I have used mine around homes being built to recover brand new nails and screws as carpenters will not pick up one they drop. The time to pick it up, $ wise, is greater than the value of the nail/screw. I get lots of new ones that way.

  • JudyH JudyH on Mar 01, 2018
    Agree with Naomie! However, if you can't get a contractor to clean up, Lowe's sells a heavy duty magnet on a broomstick type handle for less than $50. It is what roofers and building contractors use to clean up dropped nails. You might have to rake your soil and go over it with the magnet more than once to remove object embedded a few in inches.

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Mar 01, 2018
    A metal detector will help you find the objects. A good raking will get a lot of the surface debris.

  • Scvcando Scvcando on Mar 01, 2018
    There are fairly strong magnets attached to wheels that you can roll along the ground. They aren't going to pull up anything that's buried. If you want to take the time you can rake after passing the magnet over the surface and that will bring up new pieces. Pretty time consuming. If you opt to buy one, spend more money for the strongest magnet. I looked for a pic to add. I added an attachment of one that I found that is showing both the roller magnet & a rake but is actually just selling the rake portion. I hadn't seen that before. It lists the magnetic roller separately so it is undoubtedly available. Many varieties on the internet. This particular unit is by AMK Manuf. & available at Northern Tool.

  • William William on Mar 01, 2018
    I agree with Naomie. The contractors should have cleaned it up. A lot of sub contractors just don't care. Get in touch with the general contractor. He may not even know about the mess left behind.