Many things come to our mind when talked about earthquake retrofitting, the usual ones being do I need an earthquake retrofit? Let us see some of the common FAQs on earthquake retrofitting and understand the need of seismic upgrades in a better way.
It would be more sensible to see how old your home building is, before coming to any conclusions. Say, your house was built after 1990 – most houses built after this period have some earthquake proof features installed during the construction. So you might not need an earthquake retrofit here. However, if it were more than 25 years old, it would be better to call in seismic retrofitting experts and have them look at the matter.
The overall costs of the work depend on many things, such as the present condition of the building, its vulnerabilities, cracks, floor levels, ease of accessibility, etc. Usually, the retrofitting costs for a medium sized home with wooden framed walls and one floor level can go from $4,000 to $7,000. At the same time, the cost for a similar sized home with no cripple walls would be around $3,000 to $6,000.
Though your house might have survived many previous seismic activities and you don’t see any damages, the foundation of the building would have been hurt in the process, which won’t be visible at all. This poses even more risk, as one or two more shakes can lead to an entire collapse of the building. You cannot simply predict the future damages to be done, based on the fact that your home survived earlier.
According to the seismic ordinance Los Angeles, most of the old houses in the city need to be retrofitted. It would be better if the house foundation was steel reinforced. However, earthquake retrofitting might be less expensive than a total replacement of the foundation. There are many ways to repair and retrofit an old home; consulting the experts would be wiser.
Unquestionably. This is the first thing to do when you spot any damages in the house foundation or the building structure. Even more important, if you fall in the list of most vulnerable buildings in the city of Los Angeles. A seismic expert will check the vulnerabilities carefully, and plan the works accordingly.
Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018.