In really old buildings, every apartment and every room typically has an old-school radiator. If you are over the age of forty, then you probably remember melting your crayons on these fixtures just to watch the colors to run together. If you are younger than that, then you may never have seen these cast-iron grids sticking out of the floor. Either way, when your heating contractors have updated your old building's source of heat, these old fixtures need to go. Here is how a heating contractor will accomplish this.
First, Remove the Plumbing
Radiators existed to help move boiler heat from floor to floor and room to room. With the boiler replaced, the pipes used to move that heat to all of the radiators are obsolete. The heating contractor will remove all of those pipes first.
Next, Remove the Radiators
So far, you are probably thinking, "Gee, that is an easy two-step plan," but it is not. Each radiator has to be carefully unbolted from the floor and detached from the wall. Then it has to be lugged down to a waiting truck or garbage dumpster. Considering what these things weigh, removing hundreds of old radiators from the rooms and/or apartments of your building is definitely no cake walk. It is going to take several days because each radiator will take hours to detach and remove.
Finally, Patch Holes
There are holes left behind where the radiator was secured and fed by the pipelines. The heating contractor will patch and fill these holes. If the floors are wood, then the contractor will use a wood putty to fill the holes. Holes in the walls may be spackled. Otherwise the contractor will make a bigger hole, cutting a square out of the drywall and replacing that square hole with a perfectly-sized piece of new drywall. Then the contractor will paste and spackle that new section of wall to make it look like the rest.
Recycling Radiators vs. Taking Them to the Dump
In most cases, the contractor can, and will, recycle the radiators. Most of these old fixtures are made of iron or steel, both of which can be taken to a foundry and melted down to make other products. If the radiators contain lead, either as part of their makeup or because they have been coated with lead paint, then they cannot be recycled and must be surrendered to the city dump.
For more information, contact local heating contractors.