Earthquake Retrofitting Cost


How Much Does Earthquake Retrofitting Cost?

If you live in an area where earthquakes are a regular event, earthquake retrofitting can save you a lot of money when it comes to insurance claims. While you may be hesitant to spend the extra money, when compared to the amount you would need to pay over time in insurance deductibles, it is very cost effective. They can even occur in areas that are not considered earthquake zones.

Earthquake retrofitting is the best way to prevent your structure from being damaged during an earthquake. While newer homes are built using retrofitting techniques, homes that were built at least 25 years ago do not have the same advantage. The amount of retrofitting that your structure will need is greatly dependent on many factors including the type of structure, how old it is, and the design of the structure. Due to these factors, the price could range quite a bit.

What Is The Cost Of Earthquake Retrofitting?

A home that only requires minor earthquake retrofitting could run as low as $1,000. Generally, the average amount of retrofitting will cost around $4,200. A home that requires an unusually large amount of bracing will drive your cost of earthquake retrofitting upwards of $5,000.

In earthquake zones, the average amount that is paid out is $800 per person annually. This can make quite an impact on your finances, especially if you do not have the money saved back. If you add in the price of renting a place to stay while your structure is being repaired and replacing items that were damaged by the earthquake, a single seismic act could easily cost you more than retrofitting your structure.

When you have a professional complete the necessary steps in earthquake retrofitting your structure, there are many things that they must do. Typically, they use the following methods:

  • Bracing cripple walls
  • Bolting the foundation
  • Mud sill anchoring

If you live in a zone with seismic activity, it is imperative that you have your home earthquake retrofitted. But before you hire just anyone, we recommend you compare at least 3 estimates from local pros in order for you to receive the best possible deal, value for your money, and quality guaranteed workmanship.

Bracing Cripple Walls

If these walls are not properly braced, they can shift during an earthquake. Not only can it do significant damage to the structure, but it can also pose a risk to the people around it. By bracing the cripple walls, you can greatly reduce the damage done to your structure. This makes it one of the most important aspects of earthquake retrofitting.

Bolting The Foundation

Many houses that are more than 25 years old are not bolted to the foundation, most of them just sit on top of the foundation. Houses that are not bolted to the foundation can easily shift and completely collapse. It can also cause electrical and gas lines to break, resulting in fires or an explosion.

Mud Sill Anchoring

Most houses have a layer of wood on top of the foundation. This layer of wood is considered the mud sill.  If your house was built before the 1950s, this mud sill is not bolted to the foundation. According to newer building codes, this mud sill is required to be bolted down. When a professional comes in to complete earthquake retrofitting on your home, they will place a bolt every 6 feet to ensure that the structure is completely sound.

When you consider the amount of damage that an earthquake can do to your home, paying between $1,000 to $5,000 is a small investment, especially if you plan to live in your home for many years to come, which most people do.

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