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Discussion Starter #1
I've never been in an EQ before. How do typical 1970's, ranch style, brick sided homes hold up during an EQ?

Some extreme ideas to making it stay standing:

Wrap in the house in Kevlar strands:

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/cmpages/kevlar49.php

Sure it would take a lot, but would it be enough to keep the house from falling over?

Another is some how cross bracing the interior walls of the house using 2x4's or something. They'd need to be attached in some way as to keep the attachments from just pulling or tearing out.

The walls are relatively light and the roof is pretty heavy all things considered(top heavy). If it swayed, I imagine it would go over like a house of cards.

Who lives in the suburbs and has been though a fairly powerful EQ? What did the houses do?

Maybe some sort of cable system going from corner to corner of the inside rooms? What's the weak link in the designs construction?
 

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All bark, no bite
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What area are you from ? Earthquakes have different qualities as in west coast where you don't have a lot of soil liquifaction vs. mid-west where it is a major threat.
 

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Facin' Long,Personal SHTF
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Well, there ARE ways to make a house/building "earthquake resistant", that's the good news.

The bad news is, you need to implement these methods WHILE THE HOUSE IS STILL BEING BUILT, once you've completed it, it's far too late to do anything.

Having said that, the two best systems out there so far, are:

1.) a networked linkage of very thick springs built into the foundation, in all three axes of movement (i.e. horizontally, vertically and laterally), which essentially acts as an impact dampener for all sides of the foundation, and would cause the building to "rock" back and forth as the springs dampen the impacts against the foundation,

AND

2.) a two-piece foundation whereby all the support studs of the building are terminated at the bottom with extreme-heavyduty loadbearing ballbearings, sealed inside a concave metal cup cast into the bottom bracer for the studs. The ballbearings sit inside thick steel bowls, which are then anchored to the concrete foundation via rebar and conrete reinforcement: this system allows the whole structure to "roll" back and forth concurrent with earth movement, thus dissipating the kinetic energy and shear forces of the earthquake(s).

My personal opinion? #2 is the way to go.
 

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barking at the moon
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it depends on the type of soil , the type of earthquake (roller or shaker or jolt) the type of foundation on the house (slab or raised) most of the houses built on the west coast in the 70's were built to a certain standard for earthquake purposes. It also depends how close you are to the epicenter or the nearest fault line. If your worried about numbers , you dont get any real damage untill its at least a 6, you cant really feel them unless its over 4, when it hits seven then stuff starts movin arround pretty good. it all depends how long they last and how close they are. The weak link will be the foundation as it is attached to the ground, if the earthquake hits fast the foundation of your house will move faster than the walls can keep up so thats when it will fall over . if your house was built to code than it has bolts from the walls to the foundation allready and theres not much else you can do about it ( I dont think cables and braces or kevlar will do you any good here )single story houses usually fair better in quakes than multiple story houses, you might loose your chimney or some of the facia brick tho(seen that a couple times) you would really have to design it from the ground up to make it earthquake resistant . nothing is earthquake proof. ok now im just rambling.:)

ED
 

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Earthquakes impose a few major forces on a structure. There is the lurch forward, lurch back and sometimes even the heaving upwards as well. Wrapping the structure won't do anything to restrict these forces. One of the less expensive methods of protection is to bolt down the house to the foundation. That ensures that (for the most part) the house won't jump off of it's foundation. Not a lot you can do to stop cracking anywhere, not really.
 

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tinfoil bandana
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Best bet is to build where there aren't any earthquakes.....

Never did understand why there are houses built on stilts, on the side of a mountain, in California.
 

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brick is really bad.. doesnt hold up well at all now wood is much better because its more flexable but not all wood house are good for example forget the tie downs the wall can come down not puting a metal plate in a roof its like a triangle helps keep the roof up. The second problem will be area i know alot of homes near me are built on land that used to be a marsh they estmate that it will sink 6 ft in water in an earthquake.. so theres that plus were i live ill slide down the hill since all the house have a good chance of doing that here.. The most damage done in an earth quake is becuase of fire gas lines break when the house moves and then spark got a big fire and it will spread quickly..


watch some tv shows about earthquakes or even look at some history books you will see a whole town leveled because it was brick and a wooden house that looks untouched..
 

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Most construction in the US is governed by building codes, and if your house was built to the code, you might want to have it inspected by a professional; from MSN: "The best way to find a qualified home inspector is through referrals. Check with these major home inspection associations that credential their members: the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). Ask friends or colleagues who have recently purchased a home if they recommend their inspector. Most real estate agents regularly refer inspectors or inspection companies, as well. You can also find home inspectors listed in the telephone book under "Home Inspection Services" or a similar category.

Choose an Inspector
Interview the inspector or inspection firm about their qualifications, track records and errors-and-omissions insurance. Avoid inspectors who want to do any repair work for you, because that may influence their analysis.

Work with Your Inspector
Schedule your inspection during daylight hours. All utilities should be switched on. Attend the inspection yourself if you can, or ask your agent to go. You may also want to ask the seller's agent to attend. That way, if the inspection turns up any significant defect everyone will have a chance to see it. Bring a flashlight, notebook, tape measure, any prior inspection reports from the seller and any seller disclosures to review with the inspector. Expect to get a full report back in just a few days."
 

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Most construction in the US is governed by building codes, and if your house was built to the code, you might want to have it inspected by a professional; from MSN: "The best way to find a qualified home inspector is through referrals. Check with these major home inspection associations that credential their members: the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). Ask friends or colleagues who have recently purchased a home if they recommend their inspector. Most real estate agents regularly refer inspectors or inspection companies, as well. You can also find home inspectors listed in the telephone book under "Home Inspection Services" or a similar category.

Choose an Inspector
Interview the inspector or inspection firm about their qualifications, track records and errors-and-omissions insurance. Avoid inspectors who want to do any repair work for you, because that may influence their analysis.

Work with Your Inspector
Schedule your inspection during daylight hours. All utilities should be switched on. Attend the inspection yourself if you can, or ask your agent to go. You may also want to ask the seller's agent to attend. That way, if the inspection turns up any significant defect everyone will have a chance to see it. Bring a flashlight, notebook, tape measure, any prior inspection reports from the seller and any seller disclosures to review with the inspector. Expect to get a full report back in just a few days."

Also look up the old codes since alot of them are way diffrent then the current ones alot of house will fail under the newer codes but because they are older buildings they are aloud to pass for example a hotel with out a sprinker system burned down and killed 4 people a simple sprinkler system would of prevented that fire and... is by law required but because the building is older it's not required
 

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Just use a 2x4
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Also look up the old codes since alot of them are way diffrent then the current ones alot of house will fail under the newer codes but because they are older buildings they are aloud to pass for example a hotel with out a sprinker system burned down and killed 4 people a simple sprinkler system would of prevented that fire and... is by law required but because the building is older it's not required
I was in the middle of the Northridge quake. The older homes, stick built with some give to them, stood up. The newer stick built homes were torn up much, much worse - the building codes called for tighter construction with less "give".

When the ground starts moving, just pray..... If it's bad enough, all you could have done was prep. There is NO way to be CERTAIN your house will stand.
 

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My brother lived in Sylmar during the Northridge quake.
When he was finally able to call us, he said their house didn't get any damage.
I told him not to say that until he got it inspected. He called back a few days later and the inspector found a lot of damage and there was no contractors available for god knows how long.
So I jumped on a plane with about 300 lbs of tools and flew off to L.A.
Worked on his house for about 2 weeks. The hard part was all people stoping to ask if I was available to work on their homes.
Could have stayed 6 mos and made a killing , but had obligations here.
..................................Alaskan.........
 

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Is the house brick constructed, or stick built with brick facade? Anchor bolts through the mudsill into the foundation may keep the building from sliding off the foundation and shearwalls may keep the walls from racking. I don't think houses pancaking is the big problem. It's the sliding and racking. A big danger issue is the chimney. You don't want that coming down.

Secure your hot water heater too. If that thing goes over and starts a fire you could lose all your gear/supplies. If the house pancakes you can probably still dig most of your stuff out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The house is 2x4 walls and a brick siding. It has T bolts out of the stem wall(footing?) that are bolted through the base 2x4.

You can see the studs in this pic:

 

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Just use a 2x4
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Is the house brick constructed, or stick built with brick facade? Anchor bolts through the mudsill into the foundation may keep the building from sliding off the foundation and shearwalls may keep the walls from racking. I don't think houses pancaking is the big problem. It's the sliding and racking. A big danger issue is the chimney. You don't want that coming down.

Secure your hot water heater too. If that thing goes over and starts a fire you could lose all your gear/supplies. If the house pancakes you can probably still dig most of your stuff out.
The staps used to anchor the hot water heater only work for smaller earthquakes. In a larger one, that hot water heater is going to go flying. Make sure you have the means to SHUT OFF the fuel to the pilot AT the shut off valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've got one of those small tankless ones mounted to the wall:



I've also got access to the gas, water, and electric meters to shut any of them off.
 

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The house is 2x4 walls and a brick siding. It has T bolts out of the stem wall(footing?) that are bolted through the base 2x4.
Oh that's good. Are the floor joists attached directly to the sill? Or is there a cripple wall between the sill plate and the floor joists? If its a cripple wall you need to worry about shear.
 

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The staps used to anchor the hot water heater only work for smaller earthquakes. In a larger one, that hot water heater is going to go flying. Make sure you have the means to SHUT OFF the fuel to the pilot AT the shut off valve.
Good point. I guess the answer is:

D) do all of the above :thumb:
 
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