Seismic Retrofitting Your Home

Seismic Retrofitting Your Home

October 15, 2018

We keep hearing that “the big one” is coming. “The big one” refers to the inevitable earthquake and/or natural disaster that Hollywood is intent on promoting. Movies range from “Deep Impact”, showcasing the hysteria that could come with a meteor barrelling towards earth, to “The Day After Tomorrow” which tells the tale of dozens of natural disasters colliding to elicit the end of the world as we know it. These aren’t the most uplifting of topics, but they’re vital reminders so that you’re set up for success in any situation. The VIC Underpinners team are all about setting you up for success. We do so in a bunch of different ways. We do so by thoroughly researching the newest products and processes to help you reinforce the foundation of your home. We do so with a keen desire to learn constantly, not just about foundations, but about the broader industry. And all of the nuggets of information that we find, live right here on the VIC Underpinners blog. Today we’re going to dive in to information about a specific nugget of information – seismic retrofitting.

Your first question is probably wondering what on earth seismic retrofitting is. Seismic retrofitting is the process of reinforcing entire structures, so that they remain safe when earthquakes happen. We’re learning more and more over time about how natural disasters like earthquakes take place, so we’re able to be proactive versus reactive.

The need to seismically retrofit buildings is familiar to building experts around the world and has been since the 1960s when codes were introduced. The challenge was that many buildings were being designed not up to seismic codes, so contractors had to go back and redo much of the work to ensure that the structures were safe and comfortable. For those really interested in this topic, be sure to check out the technical guidelines like the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering’s ASCE-SEI 41.

As mentioned, we’ve seen much evolution in how and we this work is completed. A great example is the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. When it happened, it became very apparent that the steel frames that were being used were to brittle to properly help homes maintain their structure.

While seismic retrofitting is best known for helping protect against earthquakes, it can also be notably helpful working against windy weather, tornadoes and tropical storms. Experts do want to stress however, that though it’s helpful, there is no such thing as a truly earthquake-proof home.

Ready to reinforce your foundation? It’s time to reach out to the VIC Underpinners team. We’re available around the clock to help answer questions, give advice and get the underpinning process kicked off. We’re accessible in many different ways. You can call us, you can email us, you can even come visit in person. We strongly believe that our customers are our most valuable asset, we’re looking forward to you joining the VIC Underpinners family.