All buildings in America, and around the world, are often put through and must adhere to rigorous standards in order to be occupied. These standards help keep the buildings safe during severe weather and natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Depending on where you live in the country, you’re fighting against different types of extreme weather sometime during the year. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, then you know all too well what that familiar shaking and jostling feels like.
For concrete buildings and roadways in particular, earthquakes pose a challenging dilemma. How do you maintain an existing concrete building or road without starting from scratch, especially in today’s economy? As more areas of the US are seeing a rise in earthquakes, however small, business owners and building owners have to work together to reinforce and correct issues with concrete buildings to ensure they can withstand a bigger earthquake should one come.
There’s many ways buildings can ensure they can withstand the big one. The first step is to partner with the city and have an overall inspection done. While this may point out more issues than you’re ready to deal with, it can tell you whether the building is up to code with today’s earthquake structural regulations. If you’re not, the city can recommend steps to take to do so, and you can begin working with your insurance company and contractor to get the work done.
Once you have an idea of what needs to be done, you can begin the process of implementing those steps. However, not all buildings – especially older ones – will be able to just up and reinforce to make them safe. In some rare cases, you may have to decide whether or not it’s worth the long-term risk in earthquake-prone areas of the country to try and reinforce or perhaps look into a new building.