If you’ve recently purchased Irvine real estate, you might be concerned about living in a state prone to earthquakes. However, taking the right precautions and spending a little time preparing can ensure your home is ready for earthquakes and make a huge difference after one hits. Follow these tips to make sure your home can survive an earthquake.
1. Check Your Utilities
A lot of damage from earthquakes comes in the wake of an earthquake, when broken pipes flood homes or loose electric wires or gas leaks cause fires. Get a professional to check out all your utilities and make sure defective gas lines or electric wires are repaired. Check your piping to see if joints have flexible connections, and make sure pipes are properly braced to prevent minor tremors from bursting them. It can also be helpful to install sensors that automatically shut off utilities when vibrations are registered.
2. Attach Heavy Items to Walls
Appliances and heavy furniture can become a hazard during an earthquake. Protect yourself and your possessions by making sure they are all securely attached to wall studs. Lower objects are typically fine when left alone, but top heavy items like refrigerators, bookcases, wardrobes, media consoles, and hot water heaters should be securely attached.
3. Strengthen the Foundation
The foundation of a property is the key to earthquake survival. Most properties in earthquake zones have additional bracing and earthquake proofing along the foundation already. However, if your property does not, the extra price of seismic retrofitting could save you a lot of money on earthquake damage in the long run. Make sure the home is securely bolted to the foundation to keep it from slipping around and undergoing structural damage during an earthquake.
4. Brace Masonry
Masonry often cannot hold up during earthquakes. If you have an old wall or fireplace of bricks, you may want to consider installing some sort of bracing structure underneath the masonry. Homeowners with masonry above them, such as a chimney, should add plywood on ceiling joists to protect the home from falling bricks. This step is particularly important if you live in an old historic district with a lot of vintage masonry.
5. Anchor Hanging Items Properly
Falling lights, mirrors, picture frames, and artwork can cause a surprising amount of damage to a home, especially if they gouge holes out of the walls while they are falling. Make sure any hanging items are anchored firmly in studs. The most secure method is to attach long eye hooks to the back of items. Make sure heavy items are not hung over the bed or seating areas, even if they are properly secured.
If you find a house in Irvine you want to buy, don’t be too concerned about earthquakes. Simply follow the above tips so you’re better prepared. You’ll also want to be prepared for the home buying process by having a trusted real estate agent by your side. Get in touch with OC Residential today at 714-454-6304, and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly agents.