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California Earthquake Retrofitting Contractor Tips

California Earthquake Retrofitting Contractor Tips

Are you prepared to pay for earthquake damages?

California residents have all seen or gone through earthquake drills and preparation programs that focus on “drop, cover, and hold on!”  Most residents typically go about their everyday lives with some basic knowledge of what to do when the earth begins to tremble and shake. It is easy to forget, however, just how much catastrophic damage can occur even from fairly mild tremors. When complete roofs cave-in and masonry walls break away from their foundations, damages and injuries can be monumental. The impact of broken gas and water lines, fires and flooding can have equally devastating effects. Both the financial and the human costs become astounding.

It is alarming to note that only 10% of the industrial buildings on the west coast are covered by earthquake insurance. Often, this is not because the property owners do not want coverage; in most cases, they are not be able to afford the premiums or cannot get a policy. Having your commercial building go through an earthquake retrofitting process can substantially save on earthquake insurance premiums; savings are sometimes as much as 20-40%. Going through an earthquake retrofitting sometimes even allows a policy to be written that previously was rejected. Even thorough preparation, including safety renovations, cannot completely prevent costly damage, insurance can help defray some of the expenses incurred. Retrofitting a building with earthquake anchors is a fairly inexpensive way to accomplish an insurable status.

Tips for finding a contractor to retrofit your commercial property:

If you’re thinking about using a general contractor to complete an earthquake retrofit for your commercial building, it would be wise to think again. There are several potential problems with takng this path. First of all, a general contractor may not be experienced at retrofitting in occupied spaces; it is also very possible that they have little to no experience at all with earthquake retrofitting!  General contractors are willing to do just about any type of work, with or without the experience to back it up. If they never or rarely do retrofitting work, chances are high that they don’t have highly defined processes in place, with the necessary experience and strategies to get it done quickly, affordably and correctly.

In addition, general contractors may also sub-contract the work out to another company. If the sub-contractor is someone with appropriate experience, you will likely pay a mark-up of at least 10% over what it would cost if you chose an experienced retrofit company directly.

The benefits of choosing a retrofit company with a team of highly skilled and experienced earthquake retrofit installers:

  • Better protection and anchoring of your building
  • No secondary damage due to inexperienced contractors
  • No loss of business time if you choose a contractor experienced in occupied spaces
  • Contractor will give you a before-and-after insurance quote status so you can see the potential return on your investment
  • Increased chance of insurance savings or earthquake policy approval

After you have made the decision to retrofit your building and you are choosing a contractor to complete the job, be sure to remember that if it is not done correctly, you many not discover it until the retrofit fails during an earthquake.

A complete retrofit examination often finds that a building may have insufficient anchors for the roof, walls, and foundation. Working with a California earthquake retrofitting contractor who can provide you with a complete inspection and comprehensive repair services is the best way to shore up your commercial building before the next damaging earthquake strikes. Making sure that the work is done professionally and accurately will give you the necessary confidence to know that you have done everything possible to ensure your building is sturdy and safe for your tenants or employees.

Don’t wait for the next tremor to address the weaknesses in your building!

Removing hazards and anchoring the building are the primary aspects of earthquake preparation for both commercial and residential properties. Saunders Seismic Commercial Retrofit provides commercial building owners an insurance quote based on present and after-retrofitting values. While saving on insurance premiums is important, it is much more affordable and safe to retrofit a building before an earthquake occurs rather than to fix expensive damages later. To get more information on finding a contractor in the Los Angeles area to help you anchor your building and to save on earthquake insurance premiums, call Saunders Seismic Commercial Retrofit today!

Southern California Office

(949) 646-0034

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