Earthquake retrofitting is the reinforcing of a house so that it is less likely to be separated from its foundation during an earthquake. Various areas of the country have different standards for earthquake retrofitting. For example, in Seattle, WA houses built before the 1980s, generally, will not meet todays safety codes and may be prone to damage, if an earthquake strikes the area.
Retrofitting secures the structure so that it is extremely stabilized during an earthquake. connecting the understructure of the structure is one of the key elements in making sure that the structure remains upright so that after an earthquake, repair is minimal. At risk houses that have not been sufficiently secured, where foundation bolting to the understructure has not taken place, may not be able to withstand an earthquake. 95% of houses that are shaken from their foundations by the shear force of an earthquake are damaged so severly that they are unsalvageable and have to torn down entirely. Earthquake retrofitting makes sure that a structure is securely bolted to its foundation.
In certain situations a structure can be damaged so severly during an earthquake and its aftershock that the residents are not allowed to return, not even to obtain their things for fear that the structure may fall at any time. When looking to retrofit your structure, it is always a good idea to hire a construction contractor. The process should begin with a home inspection and an analysis of what the first steps should be to make your structure as secure as possible from the damages of an earthquake.
In some areas of the country there are classes that assist homeowners to understand the details of earthquake retrofitting. It is important to get to know the stability of the foundation of your structure and to know if it needs earthquake retrofitting. There are even loans that owners may apply for in order to be able to afford the cost of retrofitting a structure. Generally the prerequisite for applying for the loan is going to the retrofitting class.
The advantages of retrofitting a structure are many. It will save the owner money if the structure is subjected to an earthquake in that the property will be saved from total destruction. Also deductibles for earthquake insurance policies are sometimes as much as 10% of the value of the house. If your home is retrofitted this would significantly lessen your out-of-pocket expense.
While no house can be entirely earthquake-proof, retrofitting reduces the extent of destruction that a house might endure. In the long run if an earthquake hits the area, retrofitting will pay for itself and lets face it, the cost of retrofitting a house is less than the cost of replacing it.
Tanya Wiseman writes for:
Basement Concrete Foundation Repair
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