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How Do I Determine if I Need a Seismic Retrofit?

If you live in or have a commercial building in California, Oregon and Washington, you’ve probably heard the term retrofit. However, how can you determine whether it’s a necessary measure to take for your building? This will depend on many factors, including local regulations in your state, and the year that the building was erected.

Why You May Need a Retrofit

What is the purpose of a retrofit for a commercial building?

When an earthquake happens (or the tremors afterward) a property that is not properly retrofitted or reinforced can have damage in the weak connections throughout the building.Worse, the walls can separate from the roof structure and collapse causing substantial damage.

A seismic retrofit’s whole purpose is to strengthen the existing building so that when an earthquake happens, the building can withstand the earthquake itself and the tremors. This helps the building avoid catastrophic collapses which can lead to injury, death, property loss and more.

How to Determine if You Need a Retrofit

One of the best ways to find out if you need a seismic retrofit is by finding out when the building was built. Most of the buildings that were erected before the 1990s will need to be retrofitted. One of the biggest reasons for this was because prior to 1996 homes and buildings were constructed without earthquake-related building codes.

The second best way to figure out if your building needs a seismic retrofit is to simply call a professional. Calling a professional will allow them to come out and look at your commercial property. They will do an analysis of the building’s structural elements and conduct an inspection to find out if your commercial building needs a retrofit or not.

How Much Does a Retrofit Cost?

We know that most people are looking for an exact estimate. However, the cost of your earthquake retrofit will depend on many factors, including:

  • Existing damage from previous earthquakes
  • The size of your building
  • What types of reinforcement will be added
  • What materials will be used
  • Additional services needed

In order to get a more exact price figure, it’s in your best interest to call a company that specializes in seismic retrofits. They will be able to tell you what options are available to you, how long it will take, and of course how much it will cost.

If you need a seismic retrofit in Washington, contact Saunders Seismic for more information, or learn more by visiting their website.

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