Were you aware that even a minor earthquake could do some major damage to your home? In areas of the county that do not see very much seismic activity even a minor temblor could do a lot of damage to a home, this is because houses tend to be built with less stringent earthquake preparedness building codes in these areas. So, what are some of the potential weak spots of a home that may need reinforcing?
Gas leaks are often a huge problem after an earthquake. Securely fix any home appliances that run on natural gas to the floor or walls. If you do not have an automatic gas shutoff valve in your home then the manual shutoff valve must be clearly labeled and in a location that is easily accessible so that it can be switched off quickly.
Check that the home is securely fixed to the foundations. You will also want to check that there are no cracks or crumbling in cement foundations.
The chimney can become extremely dangerous if it is damaged in an earthquake as it could fall into the house. If you have a playroom for children in the house, this should not be located near the chimney. To secure an unreinforced masonry chimney to the house you will want to install angle bracing and sheet metal straps.
If your house has a freestanding water heater, it’s a good idea to secure it to a wall, which you can do using metal straps.
There are many more ways you can secure your home against the damage caused by minor earthquakes, and while these are just a few suggestions, they will help alert you to areas that may need attention. If you would like more advice on this, please feel free to contact us.