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Monday, September 01, 2014

Improving an Existing Structure against Water Damage and other Disasters

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

Learn what you can do to improve an existing structure such as a home, shed, garage or other building from water damage and other disastersA home is supposed to be a place where people feel safe. This is not always possible with the prospect of disasters such as earthquakes and floods. However, there are some things that a property owner can do to make the home as secure as possible.

Brace Vulnerable Parts of the Home

There are many parts of the home that are particularly susceptible to water damage. An example of this is the garage because of the way it is built. It usually features narrow walls that must be able to support, oftentimes, steel or plywood panels are placed in order to make the sides of the garages more secure. Another example is the chimney of homes. If they are not supported properly, they can detach quite easily in the event of an earthquake. Some of the signs of danger to watch out for are significant cracks, especially those that form in the joints.

Strengthen the Walls

Cripple walls, which are wood frame walls that connect the foundation with the first floor framing, should be given attention to and built. Cripple walls are usually found in places that have basements and crawl spaces. The connections between the frames tend to be vulnerable to earthquakes so these walls are there to provide extra support. Another option is to install plywood or strand board to the inside of the wall framing. Just make sure that any installation done on the cripple walls are done in a waterproof manner to prevent water damage from happening.

Pay Attention to the Windows

Glass and metal are not the strongest materials during a disaster. If an earthquake is strong enough, they can shatter. Even water can seep through and cause water damage to the property. To lessen the damage in the home, invest in tempered glass to make sure that even if they break, the edges will not be sharp. If your budget is a concern, a protective film can be coated on the glass.

Select Lighting Property

Always think ahead when adding anything new to the home. For example, glass chandeliers are not always the best things to have in a home that is situated in an earthquake-prone area. Instead, invest in sturdier light fixtures such as those made out of aluminum and brass. Chandeliers, which typically hang on a chain, tend to swing during a disaster.

Pay Attention to Water Heaters

Earthquakes can cause water heaters to topple. When this happens, the broken water pipe can cause flooding to happen. There is also a danger of fire if the heater uses natural gas. Prevent this from occurring by bracing the water heater through the use of wood blocking, shelving brackets, and other fastening materials.

Other Methods

The principle of safety is what calls for the securing of appliances. Make sure that the contents of the property are held in place during an earthquake by anchoring them with cables or straps. For heavy equipment like computers, use hooks and Velcro. Finally, brief family members of the possible dangers to make them more aware of their surroundings and how to react during a disaster.

Recommended Reading
Asset Protection after Water Damage
When a Disaster Strikes

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