Why Is Seismic Retrofit important?
The geographic location of Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington make seismic retrofitting and seismic upgrading a serious consideration for any homeowner.
All the experts in the field agree that it is not if the next big earthquake is going to hit this area, but when. When this happens, serious damage from an earthquake can be expected in our area.
The purpose of proper seismic retrofitting:
- Save Lives
- Reduce injuries
- Reduce earthquake property damage
- Reduce repair or replacement costs after an earthquake
What is seismic retrofitting and seismic upgrading?
Seismic Retrofitting or Seismic Upgrading are two terms used to describe the process of preparing an existing structure to better survive an earthquake. Without proper upgrading, and in the event of an earthquake your home can literally be shaken right off of its foundation.
A typical seismic retrofit will make sure your home is securely attached to its foundation and that the foundation itself is sound enough to withstand an earthquake while supporting the structure it is carrying.
Steps involved in a seismic upgrade:
A seismic upgrade begins with an inspection of your home. There are many factors that have an effect on what might be required of a seismic upgrade or retrofit to your home.
• The age of your home – An older home may need more work to bring it to current standards but newer homes should also be inspected to insure their earthquake preparedness.
• The type and condition of your foundation – Concrete foundations age and become unstable often requiring reinforcement or replacement. Block or stone foundations as well as pier and post foundations will almost always benefit from a seismic upgrade.
• Type of construction – How your home is attached to the foundation. Cripple walls and other construction techniques create different challenges and require different approaches to upgrade a home to the most current earthquake safety standards.
• Where your home is built – A home built on an incline will have different seismic upgrade requirements that a home built on flat ground.
After a thorough inspection, Masonry Masters will develop a plan to best prepare your home for an earthquake. This plan will include all the necessary hardware and materials to bring your home to current safety standards.
Depending on the extent of the work required you can expect the seismic upgrade to take a few days to weeks. Most seismic retrofitting and upgrade work is accomplished either in the basement or in the crawlspace of your home with a minimum of disturbance to your family’s daily activities.
When the seismic upgrade is complete Masonry Masters will provide you with documentation concerning what was done to bring your home to current earthquake standards.
Seismic Retrofitting Cost
Seismic retrofitting costs vary dramatically. The only way to get an accurate estimate of cost for a seismic upgrade is by setting up an appointment with Masonry Masters and having one of our seismic retrofitting experts come and inspect your home.
We will be able to quickly and accurately estimate not only the costs involved but the extent of the work and approximate timeline you can expect.
When it comes to seismic retrofit the question is really not what the cost of the upgrade is, but, can you afford not to upgrade? Without an approved seismic upgrade most insurance companies will not offer you earthquake insurance. When the “BIG ONE” hits it will be the burden of the homeowner to shoulder the replacement cost of a new home.