If you are the owner of a multi-story home, and if you live in an area where earthquakes are not an uncommon occurrence, you should determine whether or not your home has a soft story. Basically, this means that your home has multiple levels and that one of the lower levels is not strong enough to hold the rest of the home, particularly in the event of an earthquake. Many people think about soft story retrofitting for commercial buildings or multi-family homes, but it's something to look into as someone who owns a single-family home, too. These are some of the reasons why.
Your Property Could Be at Risk of Major, Expensive Damage
For one thing, you should think about the major, expensive damage that could be done to your home if you don't address the problem. Basically, part or all of your home could collapse in an earthquake, leaving behind a devastating amount of damage.
You and Your Loved Ones Could Be at Risk
Of course, not only are you probably worried about your home potentially being seriously damaged in an earthquake, but you might worry a lot about how your family could be impacted by one of these acts of nature, too. Obviously, your family could be at serious risk if you are inside a home with a soft story during an earthquake, but proper retrofitting can help you ensure that you and your loved ones are safe if an earthquake does occur.
Your Home Might Not Be Very Valuable
When performing a home inspection, particularly in areas that are prone to earthquakes, many home inspectors check to determine if the home has a soft story. A home that has a soft story might not perform well when being inspected or appraised prior to a sale. Many buyers might be nervous about purchasing a home that has a soft story because of the dangers and risks that go along with living in this type of home, and they might not be interested in buying a home that needs soft story retrofitting before they can ever move in, either. With soft story retrofitting, you can preserve and increase your home's value.
You Might Be Required to Look Into Soft Story Retrofitting
Depending on where you live, there is a chance that your home is violating local building codes right now if it has a soft story. If you don't take action, there is the possibility that your home could be condemned or that you could face fines and other consequences that go along with building code violations. If you look into soft story retrofitting now, you can find out whether or not this is the case. Then, you can take the necessary action to bring your home back into compliance with local building codes.
Contact a soft story retrofit service near you for more information.