California is prone to the devastating effects of earthquakes because the city lies on San Andreas Fault, where two tectonic plates meet. There is no predicting when the next tremor will hit, but there is a 60% chance that it will continue recuring often.
It is evident that the impact of even a small magnitude earthquake leaves massive damages on roads, buildings, and numerous sites.
Ever since 1812, California has witnessed around seventy major earthquakes. Since then, the construction of stable residential and public buildings has become one of the major concerns.
Currently, with the whole world is under lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic it might be a good time to consider earthquake-proofing your home.
Now is the right time to invest in retrofitting because once the lockdown opens, essential commodities stores and construction work will resume quickly.
But before you consider if you need to repair, replace, or reconstruct your house, here is a short guide to ensure that you get the best retrofitting service.
What is earthquake retrofitting?
Seismic or earthquake retrofitting means modifying the current structure of a damaged building due to earthquakes, ground motion, or soil failure.
It is a reconstruction process that keeps your home structure safe from tornadoes, earthquakes, and cyclones.
Why retrofit your home and property?
Retrofitting your house is necessary to prevent the displacement of the structure from the foundation. This process protects the building from dismantling or damages during an earthquake.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has put most people in a financial strain, retrofitting your home could be a good investment during this hour. After all, why risk losing your home or paying extra for damages in case of an earthquake when you could invest in retrofitting and avoid the damage!
Benefits of retrofitting a house
Still not sure if now is the right time to retrofit your property? Here are some benefits you could gain from acting now.
1. Increases safety:
The primary purpose of all earthquake retrofitting is to increase safety. A retrofitting building is more durable in the structure against natural disasters, but also increases safety and prevents death or injury.
All building structures stand on a foundation, and it could cause major damage to the building and the environment if it is not stable. Retrofitting ensures the longevity and integrity of the foundation, making it safe, secure, and more valuable in the long run.
Retrofitting is especially beneficial if you are trying to practice cost saving for your home or business structure.
Besides the electricity bills, water, and air conditioning, maintaining a property can get costly. Improper retrofitting can put your property at risk and increase damage costs to your monthly budget. So instead of using a band-aid to cover the small problems, start fixing it at the root.
Retrofitting helps your financial savings by improving business efficiency when you can focus on it. You will no longer have to run around and spend on repairing small damages frequently.
3. Restore without tearing down a structure
If you need to restore an old building but don’t have the resources to dismantle an old structure, retrofitting can be a great alternative. It is especially useful when the physical structure of the house is still in good shape. A retrofit can help you focus on the underlying problem without altering the rest of the building. After all, retrofitting is much cheaper than rebuilding a new structure.
4. Environmental benefits
A property with substantial retrofitting stays stable on the land even during an earthquake. Improper retrofitting can lead to loose soil, cracks, and also create craters on the ground, posing threats to the house and its surroundings. It can also damage trees and other homes nearby.
With expert help from seismic retrofitters, you can assess where the foundation is most vulnerable and fix it without harming the surrounding. This procedure protects the environment by using lesser water and power and keeping the external landscapes untouched.
How to earthquake retrofit
In California, all houses require a professional assessment to determine if they need retrofitting. For this, you have to consult retrofitting companies nearest to your location.
These companies should provide the human resources and the materials required to keeping your home habitable even during the most severe earthquakes.
Some of the steps used by seismic safe retrofitting companies are:
1. Foundation bolting
This process requires that holes are drilled on the foundation sill plate. Few anchor bolts are then installed after drilling through the sill plates. They can also attach steel plates when there is insufficient space to drill. The locks are tightly screwed to ensure proper and safe installation.
2. Installing a sister foundation
When there is not much to save the foundation from falling apart, workers install another foundation right next to it. It is then secured to the structure so that it bears the weight and relieves the stress from the damaged foundation.
3. Mitigate slope or floor issues
Another way to retrofit a foundation is my repairing damages on the floor where the structure stands. This problem could be caused by overflowing water or active seismological movements and make the ground unstable and prone to injuries by an earthquake. The problem can be solved by quick floor adjustment and few structural replacements.
Selecting the best earthquake retrofitting company
When it comes to choosing the best retrofitters in your area, make sure that you pick one with substantial experience in the field. They should also have all the necessary tools and knowledge to inspect, identify, and explain underlying issues and current status.
Expert retrofitters will not only suggest the most affordable solutions to solve your problems but also ensure durable and reliable servicing.
One of the most professional retrofit companies in Pasadena is Seismic Safety. This company has been in service for over fifty years, and they have a thorough understanding of the topography and risk factors.
Not only do they provide service to house and property owners, but they also deal with top-class contractors, real estate agents, brokers, and agencies.
If you feel your house is at risk or need a quick consultancy, contact Seismic Safety. They are quick to respond and eager to provide services that will secure your home against severe earthquakes and natural disasters