Seismic Retrofitting Can Protect Your Portland Home From Catastrophic Earthquake Damage, or Total Destruction.

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Protect Your Home

No one knows when an earthquake will strike Oregon, or how much damage it might do.  We do know that a seismic retrofit can greatly reduce the destruction of earthquakes and seismic events.

Don't wait until it is too late, when help with earthquake preparedness is available now.

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Free Estimates

We will come to your home, determine the steps needed for a seismic retrofit, and offer you a free estimate.  All jobs will be permitted and inspected, so that your retrofit will be part of permanent municipal records of your home.

We are responsive, and ready to help you protect your family and home from destructive earthquakes.

Contact Us Today

We have current openings on our calendar and are booking appointments for seismic retrofitting now. 

Simply fill in the form on the left to get started. We will contact you to schedule an appointment at your home for a free estimate.

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Get The Facts on Seismic Retrofitting

Q: What is seismic retrofitting?

A: Seismic Retrofitting is a proven method of securing older homes to their foundations that can help prevent destructive movement in an earthquake, which can lead to damage, or a total loss on the home.

Q: What do you mean by "total loss"?

A: If your home shifts off its foundation due to a seismic event, it will usually be ruled unfit for habitation.  Leading to a “total loss”.

Q: Is that as bad as it sounds?

A: It is. A total loss means you must pay to demolish your old home, and may be left with any existing mortgage, but no house, and potentially an additional mortgage for the new home built on your lot.

Q: Won’t my insurance cover the loss?

A: Quite possibly not.  Many policies simply exclude earthquake coverage. Some insurance companies only offer earthquake coverage if the home has been seismically retrofit. Most policies have a 10%-25% deductible even if coverage is offered.

Q: How can seismic retrofitting help with this?

A: Two main ways. One, it can allow for insurance coverage, or reduce the cost of such coverage. Two, retrofitting has been shown to often mitigate earthquake damage, leading to a much lower repair bill in the event of a destructive quake.

Q: What are the economics of retrofitting?

A: The cost of retrofitting is far lower in almost all cases than the cost of a 10%-25% earthquake insurance deductible. Additionally, seismic retrofitting and insurance offer peace of mind that you have taken significant action to protect your home from seismic damage.

Q: I’m convinced.  How does the process work?

A: We schedule a visit to your home, inspect the foundation and determine what sort of retrofitting is appropriate.  If hired, we submit a plan for your seismic retrofit to, for example, the City of Portland and begin work.

Q: How much will seismic retrofitting cost

A: It depends on the size of your home, the difficulty of access to your foundation, and the materials used.  We are competitive in price with any other retrofit company, and will strive to offer a comparable or lower bid. We believe we are also more responsive.  We won’t leave you hanging for months like some other companies might.

Q: Why wouldn't I do this?

A: We don't know!  Earthquake protection is important. Click the button to get started now.

Our story.

Bryan and Christian, two friends, concluded (as you probably have) that seismically retrofitting their properties was a smart idea.  They called around to get bids. One local firm told them they would rush right out to provide an estimate... In Nine Months.  Others were slightly more responsive, but seemed absurdly expensive.

Both were experienced remodelers and they decided to take matters into their own hands.  After educating themselves on best practices for seismically retrofitting their historic homes, and getting the necessary equipment, they carried out the projects without a hitch.

Sensing an opportunity that would fit in well with Bryan's travel writing and Christian's local winemaking, they further educated themselves, and obtained the necessary licenses and insurance to carry out residential seismic retrofitting in Oregon.

They only schedule work they can conclude in a reasonable amount of time, for a reasonable price. Like you, they cherish their older homes, and know what's on the line. They're ready to help you protect your most valuable asset - TODAY.

Further Information on Seismic Retrofitting & Earthquake Risk

It makes sense financially. 
 
It's simple:  to protect your investment.  If you live in an older home, and you live in the Portland area, it just makes sense.
 

It Makes Sense Structurally.

In Portland, our homes are either built on concrete slabs or with full basement foundations.  Houses built on concrete slabs generally have a crawl space beneath the floor, where the slab itself is visible, as well as the structural supports that hold up the house.  Those supports are very strong, as long as the load they are bearing continues to exert force in only one direct: straight down. 
 
Unfortunately, in the case of an earthquake, the slab itself can literally slide out from under the house, causing the weight of the structure to bear on the supports at an angle, toppling them, and bringing the house down. 
 
In older homes with basements, the house itself is often just sitting on the concrete walls of the foundation.  The mudsill (the portion of the house that rests on the foundation) is held in place by the weight of the house.  If the foundation suddenly were to move to one side, as is common during an earthquake, the house itself will not move with it, and part of the structure will be left unsupported. 
 
Once a portion of the house is unsupported, whether it is over a concrete slab or over a full basement, that part of the building will place strains on the rest of the building which no home is designed to withstand.  That leads to structural failure throughout the home, and, usually, a complete loss. 
 
By keeping a home properly supported during and after a seismic event, there is a much greater chance that the building will survive with little or no damage.

It Makes Sense Seismically.
 

We live in the Cascadian Subduction Zone.  The earth's surface is composed of tectonic plates floating on a vast, underground sea of molten rock.  Off the coast of Oregon, there is the Juan de Fuca Plate.  The Juan de Fuca Plate is constantly growing, forming and being pushed up at its western boundary, and shoving the rest of the plate east. 

Where the Juan de Fuca Plate meets the North American Plate, the Juan de Fuca Plate "subducts," that is, it sinks below the continental plate, gets pushed into the molten rock beneath it, and returns into the bowels of the earth.  While it is pushing under the North American Plate though, it is exerting tremendous force.  As the North American Plate resists the movement of the Juan de Fuca Plate, that force can be built up to extreme levels, and released through a sudden shift of the plate, or upheaval. 

These Great Subduction Zone quakes are the largest in the world.  The last one we know of appears to have occurred in January, 1700.  We know from the geological record that there have been at least 7 of these giant quakes in the last 3,500 years. 

Recent research carried out at Oregon State seems to suggest that there have been many more earthquakes, in more localized areas, than was previously believed.

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Questions about getting started? Drop us a line to find out more!

The sooner you act, the sooner your home will be more protected against seismic events.