Common Questions About Earthquake Retrofit

Common Questions About Earthquake Retrofit

Despite all of the information on the socials and our Blog, here at Army of Builders’ we still receive plenty of questions about earthquake retrofitting. While we are happy to answer your questions probably you will have, we thought it would be useful to put together a list of the most common questions about earthquake retrofit, along with their answers. If you still have any questions, you are always welcome to contact us.

Los Angeles Buildings Condition 

How do I know if my property needs earthquake retrofitting? Trying to answer this question is we will ask - How old is your building? Almost all of the buildings in the city of Los Angeles that were constructed before 1980 will need some sort of earthquake retrofit to bring them up to today’s’ building codes. So many buildings constructed after 1980 could use some earthquake retrofitting to improve their stability in case of an earthquake.
Another answer to this question is to ask about the type of property. Under the new city ordinances of the Los Angeles soft-story retrofit program, all wood-framed buildings ofter simply crack under the strain of the earth-shaking after and during seismic activity. Many times, the initial quake will cause weakening of the structure and within the time they will result in a complete collapse of the buildings. To know more about what is needed to strengthen your building you may want to schedule an inspection with a Los Angeles earthquake retrofitting company. Find a qualified contractor who will put together a detailed report on the work that will be required for your property.

Earthquake Retrofit Cost

We are afraid there is no one-size-all answer about the earthquake retrofit cost. How much it will cost for an earthquake retrofit for a=your property, completely depends on a number of variable factors. Some things to take into consideration include the buildings’ sizes, what it is used for, as we will how old is it, the types of materials and techniques does it need o make it more earthquake-proof.

Even though most of the clients want an actual number to this question, it makes it more difficult to answer. However, we can talk about the averages. On average, a seismic retrofit may run about one to three percent of the building’s original cost. Or in simple terms, a large building would run around 100,000 dollars to complete. The only way to know for sure what your cost will be is to contact a Los Angeles seismic retrofitting company to get an estimate. When they come out for the initial inspection they will create a detailed work plan for and the cost for the work required.

Survived Buildings Need Retrofit

Survived buildings need retrofit - If your building made it through one of the many earthquakes that roll through the city of Los Angeles, you are one of the lucky ones. But that does not mean it is absolutely earthquake safe. Unfortunately, no one knows when the next earthquake will strike, they also do not know how severe it will be. People in southern California have been waiting and hearing about, the “Big One” for years now. Some scientists believe it just might be right the next one.

How Earthquakes Vary In Strength?

In order to understand how earthquakes vary in strength, you may need to have a working knowledge of geology. The U.S. Geological Survey has a publicly available information booklet including an impressive graphic comparing shaking strength with distance from the epicenter. For everyone who does not have a degree in geology -note that the closer the epicenter is to a fault line, the more destructive and stronger, the shaking damage will be. The strength of this shaking is not measured so much by the Richter Scale, as it is by the location to the closest fault line.

Other factors also can affect an earthquake’s strength, like soil conditions or how well the building is constructed, how old it is, and as well as, most importantly, how close to the epicenter your building is located. The last major earthquake to hit the Los Angeles area was in 1994. It left behind millions of dollars in damage and took the lives of 60 people. Don’t take a chance with the lives of your tenants or employees by relying on the fact your building made it through previous earthquakes. Without an earthquake retrofit, it will most likely not make it through the next quake.

What Type Of Retrofitting Does Your Building Need?

You will be given options for the types of retrofitting does your building needs. You will also have options in the types of materials and even construction techniques that are used for your retrofit. While there is no such thing as an “earthquake-proof” structure, you can select the options that will make your building more likely to withstand the shaking of a quake.

An engineer from the Los Angeles earthquake retrofit company you hire will make a detailed report after an initial inspection of your property. While there is no way for them to know for sure how severe the next earthquake will be, they will base the seismic retrofitting needs for your building based on the most severe seismic event.

Report of Seismic The Engineer

The report the engineer prepares for you will also include an estimate of the cost for your retrofit. Most people have a budget they need to stick to, don’t worry, your earthquake professional can help you select the best options to improve your building that is still cost-effective too. Sometimes you will have to choose between protecting the building’s structure or ensuring the safety of the people inside. Always choose the safety of your tenants and employees first.