What if your house collapsed, fell over, or worse…looked like something out of a Salvador Dali painting? The cost to fix that would make anyone want to throw up their arms in defeat. There is a way to make sure your house doesn’t end up looking like the imaginings of an abstract artist.
Read on to see how Earthquake retrofitting can help save you from your worst nightmare.
Retrofitting means the addition of an accessory or new technology to existing equipment or structure to improve its efficiency. Earthquake retrofitting, therefore, is the modification of a structure that already exists to make a building or house safer by preventing displacement from the structure’s concrete foundation.
Displacement of the structure can happen in three ways. The first is when the sill plate slides off the foundation. The second is when the cripple wall collapses, and the third way a structure can be displaced from its foundation is when the floor joists slide off the wall or mudsill. Explained in this article are the basics of earthquake retrofitting.
The flexural strength is increased by increasing the section dimension. It is achieved by laying a reinforced concrete slab on top of the existing slabs or beams. Dowels or shear studs are then installed to ensure the composite action of the two.
The flexural strength of reinforced concrete is, however, not limited by the capacity of the concrete, but by the ability of the reinforcement. It means that an increase in strength can be offset by a rise in dead load. Extensive surface reparation is, therefore, required to reduce the chances of interface failure.
Flexural capacity is enhanced by bonding mild steel plates with the soffit of the beam. There is no increase in dead weight, which makes this technique reliable, flexible, and economical. The composite system’s behavior depends on the bond between interlayers of concrete and the plate.
The plates’ thickness should be critically considered since relatively thick ones can result in horizontal cracking or plate separation. Anchor plates can be used to prevent premature failure in places that show signs of reinforcement corrosion.
A mixture of water, cement, and aggregates projected at a high velocity from a nozzle to a section of a building is what is referred to as sprayed concrete. In this method, reinforcement is achieved by strengthening beams by adding steel to the tensile zone.
The method requires the removal of the overlying concrete and recess cutting if necessary to accommodate extra bars. Concrete is then sprayed to the desired thickness once the whole system is in place. It is crucial to ensure the old and new concrete have a satisfactory bond to prevent shot-crete durability failure.
It refers to pre-stress produced by cables that are placed outside the structure. The cables have no relation to the shape of the concrete structure except at the anchorage zones. This method does not require surface preparation and can be used on any structural material, even one that has been contaminated by chlorides.
It is easy to install and is also less susceptible to any weather conditions during repair. Also, it is a sophisticated method that requires skill and experience to design, handle, and apply. Consequently, its use in the modern world has been restricted.
Seismic retrofits strengthen three specific areas that prevent a house or building from falling off its foundation. The procedure requires the use of plywood to brace cripple walls, bolting the walls to the foundation, and attaching the braced cripple walls to the floor.
Without bolts or anchors being used to connect the base of a structure at the mudsill to the foundation, a house can slide off even if the walls have been braced with plywood.
Although most people worry about using anchors to keep a house and its foundation in one piece, history has shown that cripple walls that are not braced are usually the first to collapse during earthquakes. If you purchase a house or building and you are not sure whether the walls have been braced and anchored to the foundation, you can contact CXC Contracting in Los Angeles to do a survey.
Even though a cripple wall may be braced and bolted to the foundation, there is a chance of the house sliding off during an earthquake. This is because the floor is not attached to the top of the cripple wall. To prevent this, hire CXC Contracting in Los Angeles to do the connecting for you.
Earthquake retrofitting prevents the breakage of water pipes during earthquakes. The procedure ensures these pipes are held in place and also reduces the chances of the foundation or walls moving. It also prevents flooding in your house and compound.
Retrofitting reduces the risk that would arise when electric cables break caused by the pressure exerted on them when a house falls off its foundation. Open electricity wires are dangerous and can cause serious injuries.
Retrofitting saves on the cost of having to repair a house or building that is destroyed by an earthquake. The cost of retrofitting cannot be compared to that of reconstructing an entire or part of a structure.
Will and his company did an outstanding job retrofitting my 6 apartment buildings. I had several other companies bid this project but was won over by his knowledge and honesty. He listened to what i was concerned about, assured me he would he take care of everything and did everything he said he was going to do…and then some. I highly recommend him.
- Vlad R.
I want to thank Will and Isaias for assisting me on a special project I needed done at my house. Isaias came early and did exactly what I needed and asked for and for a reasonable price.I can’t thank you guys enough.
- Jessica D.
Will is honest and ethical which is a lot more than can be said about a lot of people in his business. All in all, just a pleasure to do business with.
- Reuben Z.
Excellent Project Manager and crew. Very professional and knowledgeable. They even did a little extra work at no charge that was not part of the contract! You will be making an excellent choice if you hire this contractor for your earthquake foundation repair.
- Joyce M.