Is your home quake safe?

Central and Southern New Zealand has been hit with some significant quakes over the past few years and while some residential homes have been damaged beyond repair, they have generally withstood the shaking without loss of life, which is what is required of them.

However, a lot has been learned about how buildings behaved from these recent events and what might be done to improve their resilience and performance further.  Some great learning’s and research have come out of the aftermath of such destruction.

Real Consultancy incorporates the research branch of the Realsure Group where we get to contribute to some really exciting research projects designed to foster an environment that demands better quality construction or better maintained homes – a vision of Realsure.  A recent project we have been involved in is providing a really interesting view of how quake safe our homes actually are.

Fair to say in the past few months we have looked at several hundred Foundations, roofs, chimneys, hot water cylinders and fireplaces in all of our work and it isn’t painting an all together great picture of some key areas that are highly susceptible to significant earthquake damage.

However, it has been quite disturbing to also see the extent of borer-damaged foundation and roof cavity timbers in a large number of homes, which may simply not hold up in a good shake.

The importance of pile-to-bearer fixings, solid foundation and roof support timbers, restraints on fireplaces, hot water cylinders and header tanks, can not be understated.  For the better part, the restraints and fixings are relatively easy, cheap fixes that may literally keep your house on its piles and stop your hot water cylinder come crashing down on you.

Wellington is a city living daily with the “imminent big one”, as yet unable to be predicted by scientists.  It is a city that really needs to be prepared and in recognition of the risk and what can be done to minimise damage, the Wellington City Council has been working with Pryda creating earthquake resilience kits you can buy and do-it-yourself for those so inclined.  The kits are available at Mitre 10 stores.

Consider what you can do to improve the earthquake resilience of your home.

To find out what you can do to improve the earthquake reliance of your home, order your HouseProud maintenance survey today.