Are you buying a home in an area that is known to experience seismic activity? Read on and discover some of the things you should pay attention to in the building inspection report in order to be sure that your home will not suffer extensive damage in case an earthquake occurs.
Anchorage of Appliances
Read the report and analyse what the inspector said about any appliances that work using natural gas, such as a water heater. Those appliances should be anchored onto the wall or floor so that they don't get dislodged during an earthquake. Poorly anchored appliances can shift and cause gas lines to rupture. Such an event can result in a fire that can cause extensive damage to the home. Proper anchorage can avert such a calamity from occurring.
Integrity of the Foundation
Foundations play a critical role in protecting a home from suffering massive damage during an earthquake. A strong foundation can withstand the stresses that are caused as the soil beneath that foundation moves during an earthquake. A weak foundation can crumble and cause the home to collapse. You should therefore read the inspection report and confirm that the foundation doesn't have any major cracks or isn't crumbling. The house should also be securely bolted onto that foundation.
Read the section of the report that talks about the pipes supplying water and natural gas to your home. Those pipes should not be rigidly installed. Some degree of flexibility is helpful in minimising risks during earthquakes. This is because flexible pipes can accommodate any changes in the position of the appliances to which those pipes are connected. It will therefore be hard for the pipes to rupture or leak during any seismic activity.
Storage of Hazardous Materials
Pay attention to the information about any hazardous materials, such as fuel for a generator, in the home. Those materials should be kept in non-breakable storage containers. The hazardous materials should also be kept away from any source of sparks or heat. Any anomaly pointed out in the building inspection report should be fixed so that you reduce the risks associated with earthquakes.
Many other aspects of the inspection report may have a link to securing the home from the adverse effects of earthquakes. You should ask the inspector to point out those additional components so that you can be sure you are buying a home that will not require a lot of money to make it earthquake-proof.