Shake = break. A building can endure many years of use without any structural problems, but then sustain severe damage in response to an earthquake. Seismic retrofitting could have saved this structure from severe damage. Photo courtesy of EarthquakeSaftey.com
It may not sound logical but it's true: A house can be well-built but very poorly prepared for an earthquake. Top quality lumber is used, studs are properly spaced, and joists are correctly sized for their spans and load requirements. But even when carpenters do everything right, many things can go wrong during an earthquake. Supposedly sound, solidly made buildings can slide off their foundations. Crawl space walls can collapse. Roof trusses can tilt into each other like falling dominoes.
Fortunately, most of these structural disasters can be averted, thanks to well-engineered framing connectors and skilled contractors who know how, where and why to install them.
Contact us today for a free estimate on earthquake retrofitting in the Long Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Glendale, Oxnard, Van Nuys, Garden Grove, Torrance, Pomona, North Hollywood, Irvine, Palmdale, Whittier, Fullerton, La Puente, Simi Valley, Costa Mesa, Downey, Ventura, Bell Gardens, Burbank, Norwalk, Pasadena, Inglewood, Orange, Lancaster and surrounding California area.
There's no doubt that wire nails revolutionized the craft of building when they were introduced to American builders in the late 1800's. Where hand-cut nails had to be used sparingly and even salvaged and hoarded for reuse, mass-produced wire nails could be amply applied, ensuring strong structural connections. But nails have serious limitations that are especially evident during a seismic event. To be more specific, a nailed assembly like a wood-framed wall can support substantial downward (vertical) loading. But the same wall has very poor racking resistance, which refers to the side loading forces that commonly occur during earthquakes and hurricanes.
Nails have other limitations as well. They're not useful for joining a wood-framed floor to a masonry foundation. And if they rust because of moist conditions, they can weaken substantially or even break.
The surest way to save buildings from major earthquake damage is to have them inspected and reinforced by experienced seismic retrofit contractors. These building professionals have access to specialized framing connectors that overcome the inherent weaknesses of nailed connections and older construction techniques. Seismic retrofit professionals also rely on structural engineers to design reinforcement strategies that make buildings more resistant to earthquake damage.
Although "seismic retrofitting" may sound daunting, this specialized remodeling work can often be completed quickly and affordably. If installers have access to key stress points such as stem walls (aka pony walls), sills, rafters and truss chords, specialized framing connectors can be installed at specific locations to substantially strengthen a building. For a small investment to complete a seismic retrofit, the building owner can avoid a major loss that might easily occur without sufficient structural protection.
Weinstein Retrofitting contractors offer free estimates on earthquake retrofitting in California areas such as Long Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Glendale, Oxnard, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Torrance, Garden Grove, Van Nuys, Pasadena, Pomona, North Hollywood, Palmdale, Whittier, Fullerton, La Puente, Simi Valley, Costa Mesa, Downey, Ventura, Bell Gardens, Burbank, Norwalk, Lancaster, Inglewood, Orange, Irvine, and many other neighboring communities.
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