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How to Make Sure Your House is Ready for an Earthquake

Calamities spurned by nature are one of the scariest things to experience. If you have experienced flooding and strong typhoons, you have probably clutched on tight to your loved ones hoping that it would end soon. Most especially if the calamity is a strong earthquake. Out of all the natural occurrences, earthquakes are one we cannot predict. We do not know when it will happen and how strong it will be.

Anywhere and anytime, an earthquake happens. So it’s a matter of how safe your place is and how you protect yourself and your properties. If you’re thinking of moving to Australia, you can find a range of communities with built homes that can endure calamities especially those that were developed by Lendlease. Brisbane, for example is the city with this kind of community. You can find a Brisbane house and land package here if you will decide to purchase one. Knowing that earthquakes can happen without warning, you should always be prepared and make sure that you are in safe place.

But also, you need to protect your house from total damage from an earthquake. Here we list down some of the ways in which you can make sure that your home is ready for any earth shaking occurrence.

Seismic Retrofitting
Seismic retrofitting is basically adding new features to improve your house. There are three major areas that needs to be strengthened, all of which are found in the basement or crawlspace. These are the cripple wall, the foundation anchors, and the floor of the house. The cripple wall should be reinforced with plywood, and the foundation anchors
and the floor of the house should be bolted on the cripple walls.

Foundation anchors
The retrofitted house will have anchor bolts. These anchor bolts are steel rods that makes sure the base of the house at the mud is anchored firmly to the foundation. Without the foundation anchors, your reinforced cripple walls will be useless and your house will slide off of the foundation.

Braced walls
Cripple walls should have shear wall bracing, Cripple walls are the first to fail during an earthquake. An unbraced cripple wall would not just do damage to your house, it can possible leave you homeless. If your house has a basement or a crawlspace that has cripple walls, make sure that it has shear bracing. Or else, your efforts to bolt the walls to the foundation will be unfounded.

Floor to cripple wall
If your cripple walls do not have shear bracing and are not bolted to the foundation, your floor can slide off of the cripple wall or mud sill during the earthquake. So make sure the the floor is attached to the cripple walls properly and strengthen it.

Find a retrofit contractor
Now that you are aware of these important areas that needs strengthening, it is time to look for an expert who can help you with starting it. The retrofit professional should also advise you on what else should be done to your house to minimise the damages an earthquake can do.

Once all your plans have been laid down, you are ready to retrofit your house. Remember that you should not wait for earthquake scares to start with damage-control projects such as this. You and your family’s lives are important, preserve it by taking extra precautions.