Categorized | Home Safety

How Seismic Retrofitting Might Save Your Home During an Earthquake

The need for a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, to be seismic or earthquake retrofitted is substantial. “California has more than a 99% chance of having a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake within the next 30 years,” according to scientists at the United States Geological Survey. They report that since 2001, there has been an average of seven earthquakes measuring a magnitude of 6.0 or higher every year in the United States.

“California sits on top of fault lines, so everyone knows earthquakes are going to happen in the Bay Area, there is no reason to leave a home vulnerable when it can easily be retrofitted,” said Raul Diaz, owner of Bay Valley Contractors.

Seismic retrofitting, seismic strengthening, or bolting and bracing, refers to the modification of an existing structure and making it more resistant to the effects of earthquakes. Seismic damage occurs when a home is displaced from its foundation or walls below the main floor collapse.

How does a homeowner determine if their home needs to be retrofitted? “Almost any home built before the 1980’s can be improved to reduce seismic damage,” said Raul. After the 6.9, Loma Prieta quake in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, California adopted seismic standards to the state’s building codes. Any houses built before that time, are more susceptible to earthquake damage. “The cost of prevention is going to be a lot less than the cost of clean up,” said Raul.

A homeowner should do research before hiring a contractor for seismic retrofitting. California does not have mandatory standards for seismic retrofitting. “There are no special licenses for seismic retrofitting and no special training courses required,” said Raul. According to a report in the New York Times, many homeowners are having their homes retrofitted only to find out the job was not done well and as a result it has to be re-retrofitted. Experience and referrals are the best assurance to not being duped into shoddy work by a contractor.

“Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an earthquake proof home, but a foundation and walls can be strengthened with proper modifications, giving homeowners peace of mind,” said Raul.

To learn more about this company call, (925) 705-7889 or visit their profile at



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One Response to “How Seismic Retrofitting Might Save Your Home During an Earthquake”

  1. mike m says:

    thanks for the post, great info , we never think about it but only when it happens


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