California sees more earthquakes each year than any other state in the continental US. With all those quakes, large and small, comes a lot of damage, specifically to large buildings. If your building has been through an earthquake, it’s important to understand the process you’ll need to undergo in order to ensure that it’s safe and secure. This is especially important for large-scale concrete buildings and other block, brick and other types of structures, as well as any building built before 1978.
Hire a Qualified Inspector ASAP
Can you hire just anyone for your building inspection after an earthquake? Absolutely not. Experienced structural engineers know how to check for repair and retrofitting needs, including concrete repair and structural concerns. A structural engineer not only is able to do visual checks but can also test to see if the building is safe to be reoccupied or not.
Abandon Condemned Structures Immediately
If you have a building and the inspector has said it posses a Life Safety risk, everyone should stay out of the building. This might mean that you will also need to install a fence to keep people and animals out of the building.
Check the Structure When Possible
While waiting for a structural engineer or an inspector to come in and evaluate the building, you should still keep an eye out on the property. If you notice ceiling moving or an increase in the building being tilted or notice new damage around the base of the building, you should call authorities for immediate measures such as barriers being installed.
Make Sure You Cooperate With the Inspector
When the building inspector comes to view the property, or if you’ve hired someone to do an inspection make sure that they know all of the information they can before entering the buildings. Inform them of any changes you’ve noticed, etc.
Don’t Neglect Updated Structural Design Codes
Chances are if you have a building that was destroyed and needs to be demolished, it was because you have an older building that had codes that were not up to date. When the structural engineer makes suggestions about what to do in order to make the building safer, listen, and take action. It might cost money now, but it will save you money, heartache, and possibly lives in the long run.
If you need a concrete repair, retrofit or another service related to earthquake damage, contact Saunders Seismic on their website for more information.