We have been doing seismic retrofits so that people could obtain earthquake insurance for 10 years. However it has come to light in many peoples minds recently when the New Yorker published a article called “The Really Big One.” It talks about how we are going to have a giant earthquake here sometime in the future. It could be tomorrow or it could be 100 years from now. The only thing that is certain is if it happens and you don’t have earthquake insurance, you could lose everything.
Most houses built in Portland were built before there were any building codes. Let alone anything to do with earthquakes. Most people in the past didn’t look at this area as a seismically active area. New evidence has made it clear that we have even larger earthquakes than California. Seismic retrofit services are a frequently-requested construction project for us. Typical services we provide include:
- Securing your home to the foundation. An alarming number of older homes in our region are not (and never were) bolted down to the foundation. This would likely be catastrophic during a significant quake, as the entire home could be jolted off the foundation and collapse. You can easily imagine the danger and cost involved in such a scenario. As such, this is a major aspect of a thorough seismic retrofit project.
- Strapping beams and rafters properly. See our gallery for some examples of how this looks when completed. Basically, we strap everything down using industry-standard methods and materials, which promises to minimize the effects of an earthquake on your home.
- Strengthening cripple walls. For those with basement walls with open framing, these can be improved structurally to resist lateral earthquake forces, which can cause walls like this to buckle and/or collapse. this can be done by properly attaching plywood sheathing.
- Strapping down water heaters. While this may seem a minor point, it's actually a critical one. During an earthquake, you do not want your waterheater tipping over, potentially disconnecting gas and water lines. The threat there is easy to envision (and is not good!). So, we definitely will take a look at your situation in this area as well.
When you think of losing everything you have worked your whole life for. It can really bring things into perspective. The cost of doing a seismic retrofit on your house and the cost of earthquake insurance is very small. We would be happy to guide you through the process of protecting your largest investment.
We invite you to visit our Seismic Gallery to view the level of quality work we perform every day. When you're ready to schedule a meeting, give us a call at (503) 577-7782 or use our online contact form.