Concrete Storm Shelter Removal: Why & How We Do It


Why would anyone want to get rid of a storm shelter in Oklahoma?

Storm shelters don’t last forever. In most cases, every call we receive from customers wanting an old storm shelter removed, the storm shelter is over 20 years old and doesn’t meet current FEMA guidelines. 

There are several situations that would make homeowners want to get rid of an old storm shelter, but the two most common that we see are:

  1. It’s already collapsing and it’s an eyesore.
  2. It’s full of water and has become a mosquito magnet.

For most of our customers, they schedule a new storm shelter installation for the same day, because nobody wants to be without a storm shelter in Oklahoma.

Over the last several years, we’ve helped several homeowners with old storm shelter removal. Some shelters are easier to remove than others, but we’ve never run into one that we couldn’t make disappear.

The Storm Shelter Removal Process

We always call OKIE 811 before we collapse or remove any storm shelter. Even though we aren’t technically digging, we play it safe because we never know if there’s a buried utility line close enough to matter. 

We never know how easy or hard the removal will be until we get started. Some of the storm shelters we’ve dealt with in this particular situation were pretty tough. Most of the time we can collapse it with the backhoe, but sometimes we need the help of a jackhammer. 

Once we get the top and sides of the shelter collapsed, we bring in fill dirt to fill in the hole. Depending on the size of the shelter, this can be anywhere from 2-5 loads. Some homeowners opt to use a nicer dirt, like red select fill dirt or top soil, on the very top layer once the hole is filled in. It’s completely optional, but something that we do offer.

Depending on the size of the storm shelter, location of your house and space we are working in, this process typically takes us anywhere from 4-8 hours. 

Storm Shelter Demolition

Here are some pictures of a few of the storm shelters we’ve collapsed and filled in recently.

This storm shelter in Verden, Oklahoma was in bad shape and already collapsing. We installed a new storm shelter right next to the old one on the same day and used the dirt from the new installation to fill in the hole from the one we collapsed, which ended up saving our customer over $150.

This old storm shelter in Moore, Oklahoma was full of water and had become a mosquito magnet. These homeowners couldn’t enjoy their backyard without getting swarmed. After several rain delays this spring, we were able to collapse this shelter easily with the backhoe, but because the shelter was so large and our workspace was very limited, it took a full day of labor, hauling and dressing the yard.

This storm shelter in Piedmont, Oklahoma was definitely the most unique in all the storm shelters we’ve collapsed over the years. The homeowner called us to come check out a random hole in her yard – her husband almost fell in while he was mowing. Scary! After digging and poking around, we determined that it was an old storm shelter. This one was definitely the most sturdy shelter we’ve ever had to collapse, but after several hours, we were able to make it happen and get it filled in with dirt.

Why Choose Sprague’s Backhoe For the Job?

Homeowners call us for storm shelter demolition services because we are highly skilled at what we do, we offer the highest degree of customer satisfaction, we have almost 2 decades of experience in heavy equipment operation and we are properly insured, licensed & bonded.

Read: 7 Reasons Our Customers Love Us and You Will Too

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Leave us a comment and tell us about your old storm shelters!

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