In addition to seismic retrofitting, we offer a host of related and structural services for your home, business, commercial or soft-story building.
Seismic retrofitting is technical work which is also known as earthquake retrofitting. The seismic retrofit methods we use are more what would be termed as “foundation bolting.” Seismic retrofitting involves foundation anchors (or foundation bolts), sheer panels, and framing connectors – each element installed to specific engineered standards.
No house is the same although many share basic and fundamental foundation construction types. There are five basic construction types that are found in Portland and the seismic retrofit method for upgrading each will vary. Select your foundation style to learn more about the custom seismic retrofit method that would be used to bolt your home to the foundation:
It is not uncommon for homes to have two to three types of foundation construction. For example, 1960s & 1970s ranch split style houses can have both full height, cripple wall, and slab on grade styles of foundation construction. We specialize in custom seismic retrofits for each and every one of them.
Your garage, as well as converted sun porches, will typically have a slab on grade foundation. The stem wall with slab on grade is a minimum of 6 inches tall from the soil.
Older garages need to be upgraded with sill plate bolts or Universal Foundation Plates (UFP) if there is no plywood in the walls. Plywood shear walls are highly recommended especially at the garage door opening, sliding door or french doors, where the side walls are very short, plywood will add lateral stability for these structures from tearing off the house and/or falling down.
If you have living space above the garage we have custom bracing solutions that will address the potential threat of your garage folding in and your living space dropping down.
An emergency earthquake shut off valve is intended to close the gas line to your home, on the outside of your house, in the event of an earthquake. This will greatly reduce the potential risk of explosion or fire due to the loss of gas line integrity or a gas leak inside your home after a major earthquake.
At Earthquake Tech, we exclusively install “The California Gas Valve.” Having been manufactured in California since 1978, this valve comes with a 30-year warranty as well as Earthquake Tech’s own guarantee. These top-of-the-line valves are the original, tried and true valves made by Pacific Seismic Products and are built in the USA. We install the California gas valve in any size requested for both vertical and horizontal installations as well as residential and commercial use.
Having been through NW Natural’s training program, we warranty our installation. With the installation of this emergency gas valve, we use a ridge bracing strut that keeps the gas line stiff to avoid false trips as well as ensuring that it is triggered when the house moves. With your order from Earthquake Tech, you will have the peace of mind knowing that the valve is installed correctly.
Because hot water tanks are tall and heavy, they are vulnerable to being overturned by earthquake forces. If your hot water tank is not properly braced it can topple over during an earthquake, causing:
– A broken water line and flooding.
– A broken gas line and gas leak
– An electrical fire
– A fire resulting in major damage to your home
– You lose 50 gallons of drinkable water which may
be critical in an emergency
Hot water tank seismic strapping involves the use of straps, spacers, and screws which are used to secure it to the wall’s framing. The number one reason you want your tank available is so you have 50 gallons of potable water available to drink as basic services may be unavailable after a major earthquake.
Since 1999 Earthquake Tech has inspected thousands of homes and installed hundreds of seismic retrofits in Oregon & Washington.
We can verify if someone else’s work has been installed correctly and provide a summary report that will qualify the home for earthquake insurance.
The following is included with our seismic retrofit inspection services:
Since many homeowners’ biggest investment is their home, earthquake insurance is one way to help protect your investment. In order to qualify for earthquake insurance most insurance companies will require that your home be seismically retrofitted to the foundation.
The following is included with our earthquake retrofit inspection services:
The following is included with our real estate seismic inspection services:
*Note on inspection services – The standard inspection fee is $249.00 for a single-family home. On the rare occasion an inspection requires more than ninety minutes, we will charge an additional $65/hour. Earthquake Tech will provide a $100 credit for orders over $1,000 if placed within three months of the inspection.
All our crew is certified by Hilti to professionally and accurately install Hilti anchors. These anchors, which include several varieties, are the highest quality products we’ve found to support heavy, dynamic loads, such as seismic and shock loads.