The time for earthquake retrofits is upon us, as the likelihood of earthquakes along the San Andreas fault has just tripled according to a recent study.
Though home earthquake retrofits are essential in all earthquake-prone areas, the elevated threat of seismic activity has increased the need for immediate retrofitting attention. Discover what you need to know about earthquakes and the danger of seismic activity.
Don’t Delay Retrofits
The threat of seismic activity is omnipresent in areas like Los Angeles since earthquakes are unpredictable and potentially devastating. Contrary to common belief, any event that involves the ground moving can cause structural damage. That means that even seemingly minor earthquakes can threaten the stability of your home, making seismic retrofits essential. Buildings that have any vulnerability run the risk of structural damage, including cracking and buckling walls, shifting structures, buckling floors, and other serious issues.
Mandatory soft story retrofits have been sent to thousands of at-risk buildings throughout Los Angeles and other areas of California to lessen the threat of earthquakes destroying buildings and threatening lives. Though the mandatory retrofits must be completed within a specific timeline, newfound research increases the need for earthquake retrofits to be finished as soon as possible.
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Elevated Earthquake Threat
A recently released study suggests that the previous year’s Ridgecrest earthquakes have significantly increased the chance of a major quake along the San Andreas fault. The chances of a major earthquake along the fault have risen, increasing odds of a large earthquake by an estimated three times. This recent study reveals that the time is now for earthquake retrofits, as any delays could leave building owners with a poorly secured structure in the face of possibly massive destruction.
If the wrong chain of events aligns, Los Angeles County could contend with devastation along the San Andreas fault that has not been experienced in 163 years. The hypothetical earthquake could reach a magnitude of over 7.5, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and up to 1 million home displacements.
Though the likelihood of a San Andreas fault earthquake occurring in the next year is only placed at approximately 1 percent, the reality is that this is several times higher than earlier forecasts. Therefore, the threat of the earthquake should be taken very seriously by all residents in the surrounding areas.
Identifying Building At Risk
Home earthquake retrofits are needed for all compromised structures, as any area of weakness can make the structure vulnerable to possibly devastating damage. Soft story structures are among the most vulnerable, as they have ground floors that cannot support the full structural weight of the higher floors in the event of seismic activity.
Soft story buildings tend to be compromised by large openings on the ground floor, such as windows or parking structures. Additionally, wood-framed buildings and buildings constructed before 1978 run a higher risk of being at-risk.
Keep in mind that failing to reinforce your building could lead to structural sliding and even collapse, jeopardizing the lives of residents. Additionally, there are consequences for building owners who fail to comply with mandatory soft-story retrofits within the mandated timeline.
Therefore, it is in the best interest of any at-risk building owners to retrofit their structure as soon as possible. The good news is that there are savings for building owners who act now.
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Act Now For Best Benefits
While the cost of an earthquake retrofit will depend on individual factors, there are seismic retrofit savings available for proactive homeowners.
For example, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program can assist eligible homeowners with up to $3,000 for securing their structures. Additionally, the Seismic Retrofit Work Cost Recovery Program can reimburse building owners up to 50% of the cost of their seismic retrofits.
Furthermore, there are benefits of acting quickly in addition to the peace of mind attained through knowing your structure is secure. Completed earthquake retrofits remove your building from future retrofit requirement lists, offering a competitive advantage. Insurance companies often grant significant premium savings for completed retrofits, while liability insurances can be drastically reduced.
Additionally, since over 20,000 seismic retrofits in Los Angeles alone are already mandated, the cost of the project is only going up. Therefore, there is a financial advantage to completing your earthquake retrofit now.
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Why Choose Us?
It’s our mission at California Foundation Works to keep greater Los Angeles area homeowners safe by addressing one household at a time. We offer premium services at the most competitive prices on the market, infusing individualized attention through each project. Are you interested in collaborating on a home repair or retrofit? Call us today to get started!
Related: Earthquake Retrofit Overview
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