What are the Most Common Types of Earthquake Damage?

Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, explains the most common types of damage caused by earthquakes to single-family homes.

Most earthquake damage is caused by shaking. The intensity of the shaking depends on three main factors:

1. The magnitude of the earthquake—in general, the bigger the earthquake, the more intense the shaking and the bigger the area affected.

2. The distance from the earthquake—the closer to the origination point, the more intense the shaking.

3. The type of ground material beneath the structure—different soil types can accentuate or minimize movement during an earthquake.

The most common types of damage caused by earthquakes are:

• Cripple wall shearing and collapse. The walls around a crawl space under the home can shear (lean) or collapse if not correctly braced.
• Improperly bolted houses sliding off their foundations.
• Damaged electrical or gas lines. These can cause fires and even explosions if not handled immediately.
• Unsecured furniture and appliances falling and causing damage to the home or bodily injury.
• Chimneys can separate at the roof line, collapse, and fall over.
• Windows can crack or shatter. Windows with rounded corners are less likely to break, though not as common or readily available.
• Uprooted trees or broken branches falling on the house. Trees can cause a lot of damage if they fall on your home. Consider removing trees that are too close to the home or would be at risk of falling over.

Before the next big earthquake, you should put together an emergency kit that has enough water and supplies for 3 days. Then go through your home and check for risk factors for these types of damage. If you can- have your home’s foundation inspected and repair anything that needs to be fixed. If your home needs earthquake retrofitting, have it done as soon as possible so that you’re prepared.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your home will be safe in the event of an earthquake. You should rest easy, knowing your home rests on a structurally sound foundation. We can inspect your home to find out what steps are needed to get it there. We offer free foundation inspections, and for those with a higher cripple wall, we can review plans or obtain the engineering necessary for your project,” says Julian De La Torre, founder and owner of Julian Construction.

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their websites, http://www.julianconstruction.com, or http://quakeproofers.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/

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