Living in the Bay Area means living with the risk of earthquakes. You can probably remember exactly where you were during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Thousands of people were displaced from their homes and emergency services were completely overwhelmed.
BoltDownTheBayArea.com has been installing pre-engineered residential seismic retrofit packages following the guidelines set forth by “Standard Plan Set A” since 2008. The prescriptive standards were developed and approved by the Structural Engineers Association (SEA), the International Code Council (ICC), California Building Officials, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and tested on Simpson Strong-Tie’s shake table. During the recent South Napa earthquake none of our retrofit clients sustained any structural damage while non-client neighbors were not so lucky, many were even yellow or red tagged! It is fact, a properly installed seismic retrofit results in less property damage and a greater probability that you and your family will not be displaced from your home after the next seismic event.
Please protect your home and family, have your home preparedness kit accessible and reduce the burden on emergency service resources after the next big quake.
Call to schedule your free inspection and let us help you determine if your home is properly anchored to it’s foundation. Together we can Bolt Down The Bay Area.
Residential Seismic Retrofits
As you may already know, living in the Bay Area, there is a large probability of a seismic event. Many people take steps to prepare their family for an earthquake. However, it is also important to prepare your home. Identifying and correcting certain well known structural deficiencies can help avoid a tremendous amount of damage to existing wood frame homes.
Evidence from past earthquakes and previous engineering studies have confirmed: Almost all serious damage to wood frame houses has been a result of either:
1) Insufficient connections between frame and foundation and/or
2) Insufficient lateral bracing (shear-strength) in the load bearing, supporting walls (cripple walls).
If a house has inadequate frame-to-foundation connections, it can be displaced completely from its foundation in a strong quake. Insufficient lateral bracing typically results in either a partial or complete collapse of the perimeter cripple walls, which form the basement and crawl space areas. Either form of damage can amount to a total loss scenario for the homeowner.
Studies show that retrofitted homes in areas hit hard by earthquakes have performed well, with little or no structural damage. A retrofit adds bracing and reinforcement to strengthen the critical connections between your foundation and your home.
Since many existing homes were constructed prior to the development of these newer code requirements, a retrofit may be necessary to increase structural safety. A home that has been retrofitted is able to resist much greater earthquake forces and has a lower risk of being damaged.
Reasons to retrofit
Your home will have a better chance of surviving the next big earthquake with less property damage.
Retrofitting your home may lower earthquake insurance premiums and deductibles. Strengthening your home can add resale value. Most counties and lending services are adopting a mandatory seismic upgrade before a home can be resold. If you can keep your home on its foundation, there is a good possibility that your home will not be red tagged, while the minor repairs are completed.
Our proven affordable residential seismic upgrades combined with over 10 years of experience make us the cost effective solution to protect your home. The first step in retrofitting your home is with a thorough inspection of your property. It is important to utilize the services of experienced specialists who have a complete understanding of the requirements for high-quality seismic upgrades. All of our seismic upgrades are based on proven engineering designs and installation techniques.