Is Your Home Ready To Fight An Earthquake?
Paul the Octopus had successfully predicted the winners of 2010 FIFA World Cup matches. Unfortunately scientists have no clue regarding the prediction of earthquakes till now. Well, no offense to them; it’s just a metaphor. And yes they’re trying hard enough to predict the earthquakes to save thousands of lives every year.
But, how much you yourself are trying? Is your home ready to fight with an earthquake? Confused? You might be thinking there is nothing to do with your trying and the earthquake. But no, there is a lot you can do to save yourself and your family from a horrible natural disaster, in case it happens.
Elaborating more to the above paragraph, Earthquakes come without warning. Scientists have researched a lot to know some signs of this catastrophe prior to its happening so that many people can survive. But till now, the formulas are obscure. Really it’s hard to fathom the nature’s intention! Though the place can be predicted where it’s going to be happen but the time can’t be predicted.
Always it’s a misconception that earthquakes only affect the areas coming under fault lines. But it’s not true. It can happen everywhere on earth, far away from the fault lines. And earthquakes are happening in Los Angeles many times a day whether you feel it or not! And these vibrations are continuously shaking the structure and foundation of your home or commercial building. In the course of time, this causes in cracking or weakening of the foundation and making it easy to collapse in the event of Big Ones.
How To Counteract This Nature’s Threat
Earthquake Retrofitting is the most important thing you can do to counteract this nature’s threat. It’s a modification process carried out in the existing old building structures and provide them more strength to resist the seismic activities. Normally the old homes that are built before the 80’s lack the basic components that are not able to resist the forces of earthquakes hence posing danger of falling down.
Seismic retrofitting of a home includes mainly
Repairing and bolting the foundation :
Foundation is the most prominent part of any house. The more stronger the foundation is, the more it can resist the seismic forces. Foundation bolting is the process of inserting the anchor bolts into the mudsill which is a piece of wood upon which the cripple walls stand. Also using the right kind of bearing washer plate increases the strength of the anchor bolt significantly.
Bracing the cripple walls :
The cripple walls or Pony walls are in between the foundation and the first floor. It completely lifts the weight of the house above it. So these walls need to be strong enough to withstand the horrific forces of the Big Ones. However, not every houses have cripple walls. If you’re taking stairs to enter home, then know that there is cripple walls.
Bracing means adding structural grade plywood sheathed tightly onto the wooden cripple wall framing. Technically this strengthened wall is known as shear wall. For the utmost earthquake protection, bracing is important in all sides of your home.
Bracing unreinforced masonry chimneys and walls :
In old houses, normally chimneys are made up of masonry (bricks). As in the event of a big earthquake, there is huge chance of falling down of this chimney into the home. So it’s quite dangerous if you’re not inspecting and bracing it properly. It should be a priority for the homeowners to repair or replace them as soon as possible if they see any cracks or possible signs of crumbling.
You might have installed security cameras or alarm systems to protect your gadgets from thieves. But what about safety measures for your life? Investing money in this process is no loss at all. You’ll get the result of your every penny invested when you’ll see the surrounding building have collapsed in the event of a big quake but your building is still standing stalwartly.