Today, the effects of seismic activities on buildings and the ways of minimizing their impact have been learnt. This has been necessitated because of the ability of the quakes to make a building slide, shifting it off its foundation and finally overturning it. More so, their ability to collapse and cripple walls has necessitated studying them.
Also referred to as foundation bolting, seismic retrofitting or anchor bolting, house bolting is meant to make the house structure safer and stronger while preventing damage that is usually caused by earthquakes. These bolts strengthen the wooden frame of your house connecting it firmly to the foundation. Thus, the two types of commonly used bolts in anchor bolting are expansion foundation bolts and epoxy foundation bolts.
Epoxy foundation bolts
This is usually best suited if you live in an older home because the concrete is usually weaker. Since expansion bolts are usually shorter than epoxy bolts, this means that the epoxy type must be engrained deeper into the concrete. By so doing, it improves the bolt’s performance.
If you also happen to live in an area where the quake’s motion tends to lift up the structure of your home or building, then epoxy foundation bolts are best suited. This length allows the bolt to hold the wooden frame in place and prevents the concrete foundation from pulling away.
Expansion foundation bolts
If your building or home’s concrete foundation is in good shape such as on a new foundation in an old home or in a new home, expansion foundation bolts should be used. This is primarily because strong concrete is required for the bolts to be effective. They should be used in so far as they do not crack the concrete.
How to secure the bolts
Installation of the anchor bolts should be done with square plate washers. This is because they foster a stronger and better secure connection to the home’s or building’s foundation. Prior to the use of square plate washers, round washers were used to secure the bolts. Because they did not have the requisite strength to hold the bolts in place, they were replaced.
In other instances, other anchor types may be used which is dependent on whether or not the home or building has cripple ways. In some cases, homes will have a combination of areas where the floor rests on the home’s foundation and cripple walls.
Therefore, to determine if your home needs anchor bolting, you should go into its crawl space. This space will be found between the first floor and the foundation. You should locate the board sill plate found at the top of the foundation. Usually, these sill plates have been made from lumber whereby the board runs horizontal to the house’s vertical wall.
You should ensure that you inspect the anchor bolts’ sill plate. Usually, you will find them every four to six feet. In fact, most of the homes built during and after the 1930s will feature some form of seismic retrofitting in areas where earthquakes are prone. You should inspect to ensure that the present bolts have not weakened or separated so that they can provide support when a quake occurs.
Since ensuring the safety of your family is very important, ensuring that your home is safe particularly if you live in an earthquake-prone area in very important. Most importantly, any work that is undertaken to make the structure sturdier needs to meet the current industry standards. If possible, you should consult a repair expert or foundation contractor who engages in house bolting in LA. They will check whether any present bolting will need replacements and also to what extent new seismic retrofitting will be required.