Earthquake Retrofitting

June 18, 2018

What is earthquake retrofitting and how can you do it?

Earthquake retrofitting is the process of making your home safer and less prone to structural damage during an earthquake. This can help you save money on your insurance and repairs.

Why should I consider retrofitting my house?

Retrofitting can reduce earthquake damage to your home. It is in your best interest to ensure your home is up to code to help keep you and your family safe in the event of an earthquake. In addition, it can help you save money on insurance and repairs. If you need more incentive, you may be able to get a discount from your insurance company if you retrofit. This can reduce your premium or deductible while making your home safer and stronger.

How long does it take to retrofit a house?

On average, it takes about a week to retrofit. However, larger homes or homes that might need to open and re-close finish walls will take longer. It is very unlikely that a retrofit project will take more than two weeks to complete.

How much does an earthquake retrofit cost?

There is no such thing as a “standard” earthquake retrofit and the costs vary from house to house. Larger and more complex houses generally cost more to retrofit than smaller and more simple ones. For example, a medium size home with one-floor level, a crawl space area relatively free of obstructions and in good condition, and with wooden walls in the crawl space (cripple walls) may cost around $4,000 to $7,000 to retrofit.  A house of similar size without the cripple walls (where the floor platform sits directly on the concrete foundation) may cost around $3,000 to $6,000. On the other hand, a larger home with multiple floor levels, basement area rooms, and rooms over garages may cost $10,000+ to retrofit.

Typically, there is a higher cost for the following:

  • Older homes
  • Homes built of brick or masonry
  • Homes with multiple floor levels
  • Homes that are on sandy soil instead of clay or rock
  • Homes that are not up to code

How can I retrofit my home?

Here are a few ways you can retrofit your home:

  • Bolt your house to the foundation
  • Brace the chimney
  • Brace the water heater to a wall
  • Put in automatic gas shutoff valves
  • Use plywood to strengthen cripple walls

In addition, there are many good practices you should follow to prepare your home for earthquakes such as learning to shut off gas valves in your home, installing strong latches on cabinets and securing heavy or expensive objects.

For more details regarding retrofitting as well as answers to many frequently asked questions visit Earthquake Safety, Inc. or contact us today – give us a call at (415)-386-2283 or send a message to [email protected]