Experiencing an earthquake could be one of the most devastating events in one’s life. That is why several changes in the design of a house or building have been developed to make the structure more resistant to seismic forces. You might be familiar with retrofitting. It aims to keep the building from collapsing whenever the land shakes because of the earthquake. They say that when the building is retrofitted, it follows the movement of the soil. However, such design is not available among houses that were built more than two decades ago. If you got one, this infographic works best for you.
1. There are states that are more prone to earthquakes. The building department in these areas has strict building codes to ensure that the house is strong enough to face any disaster. To make your house earthquake proof, your house needs some upgrades. If it is simple restructuring, free plans are available in this department. Aside from that, they can also give advice especially that you need a permit for it. On the other hand, if you are trying to have some remodelling or renovating of the house, go first with earthquake strengthening.
2. Does your house build upon poured concrete? Check your foundation, you can see a few center posts and nails which are not enough to make it earthquake proof. If you don’t know yet, get through your basement and find some bolts that are placed on top of a sill plate. Also, check if there are steel anchor plates that are tied into the sill plates. If you can see these, then your house is already quake-proof. If not, then install it on your own. The process is easy. Use an electric hammer drill to install these bolts and plates depending on building code of your local building department.
3. On the other hand, if the house has a perimeter foundation that is made of concrete materials, the process of retrofitting will be the same as mentioned above. However, in cases where the blocks are hollow, you can’t install the bolts and plates on your own because you will need the help of a structural engineer. He will assess whether the foundation is sturdy enough to resist the quake. Such evaluations and recommendations will require $500-700 professional fee.
4. Some houses have slab foundations. The sill plate should be tied into the concrete through the bolts. Or the house is directly supported by posts that rest on piers. If your house is like this, you must really retrofit your house because this is more prone to shocks and collapse. A restoration company will charge around $20,000 for the repair of a collapsed house or building.
5. Whenever there are natural calamities, such as earthquake, you would fail much safer when you are inside the house. However, the house that is not earthquake proof could be more dangerous than staying outside. But, you can still retrofit it so that you can be protected even when an earthquake strikes.
Download this infographic.