Earthquake safety and preparedness have come a long way over the years, especially in California. Every year, the state generates two or three earthquakes that are powerful enough to cause moderate to severe damage to structures. Most modern homes are built to withstand these earthquakes, but many homes built before 1979 are still in danger of suffering serious damage if they are caught in an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 or higher. Some structures are more at risk than others – unreinforced masonry and concrete buildings are particularly dangerous during earthquakes – but any homes built before the late 1970s should be retrofitted if they haven’t been already.
Protect Your East Bay Hillside Foundation with Proactive Earthquake Retrofitting
Part of the problem with homes built before 1979 is that many of them were built with several steps off the ground, especially homes built on the picturesque East Bay Hills. They may have sturdy concrete slabs as foundations, but they also have relatively large crawlspaces between the foundation and the first floor. When you have a heavy house that rests on a flimsy wooden frame that is separated from the foundation by a few feet of crawlspace, the result is a structure that can collapse on itself during a major earthquake. Even a relatively simple foundation repair for a home that has been damaged in an earthquake can cost homeowners a lot if the home can be repaired at all.
This does sound dire for anyone who lives in an older home, but the good news is that it isn’t too difficult to retrofit a single-family home and make it safer from earthquake damage. The process could involve attaching a house to its foundation with metal rods and plywood to give it stiffness and strength. While retrofitting your foundation in Alameda County might not be inexpensive it should be much less than the hundreds of thousands of dollars it often costs to lift a house back onto its foundation and make repairs after it’s fallen in an earthquake.
The government has never required older single-family homes to be retrofitted to prevent earthquake damage, but homeowners can still prevent damage to an Oakland foundation or San Leandro foundation by taking action now. While you probably won’t need to worry too much about your home potentially being unsafe if it was built relatively recently, an older home probably needs to be retrofitted and reinforced.
Foundation Repair Services Serving Alameda, San Leandro and the East Bay Area
If you aren’t sure whether your home needs to be retrofitted or if you are in need of foundation repair, drainage, or retaining wall services contact Jim Gardner Construction today. We will be happy to inspect your property for issues and provide a long-lasting solution to your home foundation or drainage systems.