Restoring Your Classic Chevy

Seismic Retrofitting Can Make Your House More Earthquake Resistant

by Neil Craig

Buildings in earthquake prone areas haven't always been built to be as earthquake resistant as they are now. If you have an older house in an earthquake prone area, you may want to do some seismic retrofitting so that your house is more resistant to damage done by earthquakes. 

Seismic Retrofitting

This means that your house will be modified to bring it up to current seismic code or as close as possible. Depending on your house, you may not be able to get all the new safety features in your house, but the contractor who does your retrofit should be able to get as many safety features added to your house as possible. Your house should be able to stand up to an earthquake better than it would have before. 

Foundation Bolting

One of the safety features that the contractor will add to your house is foundation bolting. Foundation bolting helps to connect the wooden parts of your house to the cement foundation of your house. When your house was built, there should have been something called a sill put in. That sill is a piece of wood that went over the concrete slab of your foundation. When the contractor does the foundation bolting process, they are putting bolts down through that sill and into the foundation. That strengthens the connections that were there before. 

Foundation Holdown Brackets

Another thing that the seismic retrofit will add to your house is foundation holdown brackets These brackets are there to help support the shear walls of your house. These walls are designed to help the lateral load on your house. Lateral loads are things that act horizontally on your house. For example, strong winds, like those find in a hurricane or tornado, are a lateral load. Earthquakes would also be a lateral load. The holdown brackets are there to help support those walls and to help them resist the rolling forces that can be found in an earthquake. The brackets are installed at the end of the shear wall and are anchored into the foundation using epoxy-anchored bolts that are deeply set into the foundation. They aren't needed on every shear wall but only on key ones. Generally supporting certain walls will keep other walls from collapsing. 

If you want to make sure that your house will stand up to any earthquake, you need to make sure that you get a contractor like John's Waterproofing who specializes in seismic retrofitting.