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How To Strengthen A Foundation To Prepare For Earthquakes

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It seems that natural disasters happen almost every week. It is no longer unusual to see tornado or hurricane devastation on the evening news.  In recent years, earthquakes have also become a deadly, destructive force that has impacted Canada and countries abroad. When you are a homeowner, this can be quite frightening! However, there are things you can do as a homeowner to strengthen the foundation of your home.

First Things First

The first thing you as a homeowner should do is to check with the building department in your county. Especially if earthquakes are more common in your area, the building department can offer tips and ideas for strengthening your foundation. You will also need advice regarding building codes if you see the need to add additional structures to your home. They can often refer you to contractors in your area that specialize in such upgrades.

Bolting the Frame

Bolting your house to its foundation and bracing the crawl space with plywood is one of the best ways to earthquake-proof your home. This is especially true if you live in an older home. It could be costly, though, so be sure and check the prices of different shops or stores in your area before you pay money for such supplies and labor. 

Bolting is simply adding bolts to safely secure the wooden framing of your home to its foundation. As stated above, especially in an older home, bolts are not going to be as plentiful, so giving your home a bolting upgrade can be of benefit. Typically, builders use epoxy-set bolts and expansion bolts to reinforce the framing.

Bracing the Walls

Just like adding bolting, you will probably need to reinforce the bracing of your home's foundation. Bracing the foundation really depends on how many stories your home has. It is required at each wall end. If you are not familiar with how to perform the bolting and bracing, it is strongly recommended you contact a professional, but don't feel bad about shopping around for the best price for the best quality work.  Any professional structural engineer will understand this process.

Reinforcing the foundation of your home is crucial, especially if you live in an area where earthquakes are common. Insurance companies may offer hefty discounts for those that choose to spend the money to reinforce the home.  Researching the best contractor is imperative, along with comparing the cost. Contact a company like BIE Engineering Corp Edmonton to learn more about structural engineering that could be useful for your home.