San Francisco East Bay cities experience earthquakes on a regular basis. While it may not be possible to predict them, it is possible to plan strategically for them. You might be surprised to learn that you can actually affect an earthquake’s impact on your property by taking the proper steps to bring your Oakland foundation up to standards, and fix underlying age-related issues that may cause the foundation to fail during a sharp quake.
To figure out what needs upgrading, you will need to hire a reputable local drainage and foundations expert. As a first step, however, please explore the points below to get you started towards making an informed decision about your property.
Proximity to Fault Lines is a Key Factor for Your Oakland Foundation
If you live in an area with active faults like our East Bay Hills, property owners need to recognize that even a moderate earthquake can shake a home and put stress on the foundation. What cumulative damage have all the small quakes over the years caused within your foundation?
You should take steps now to avoid issues that are generally preventable. You might need to have your home retrofitted as a preemptive safety measure. But, the cost of doing this is an investment that could save your home, and more importantly, the lives of the people in your household.
Knowing the Topography of a Location
The topography of a location will influence how an earthquake might impact it. How steep is your slope? What sort of soil does your structure sit on? Plus, earthquakes can change the topography of the location over time, or even after one sharp jolt. The ground might be pulled and pushed to the point that a surface rupture occurs. Other results of an earthquake may include landslides or liquefaction of the ground soil. How well is your foundation prepared to handle soil and slope changes?
How Soil Can Affect the Impact of an Earthquake
Soil is a crucial element to understand when you want to minimize the effect of an earthquake on your property. If the ground in your area is soft, it may increase the effects of vibrations. This problem has led to much damage after several mid-sized Bay Area quakes, not just the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 or the legendary one that shook San Francisco in 1906.
When the ground soil is heavy with moisture and packed loosely, the result may be what is known as liquefaction. This increases the chance for damage to buried utility and drainage pipes as well as your Oakland foundation.
Trust a Reputable Oakland Foundation, Retaining Wall & Drainage Specialist
When the lives of your loved ones are at stake, you should trust only a structural specialist and foundation contractor in Oakland with a solid reputation. The crew at Jim Gardner Construction has decades of experience to bring to bear on an assessment of your property and foundation. Whether you require assistance with an Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley or other foundation, we are happy to help. Call us at (510) 655-3409, or contact us online for a free estimate.