Over 700 earthquakes and aftershocks occur in Utah every year. You might be shocked by this number, but that’s because only 2% of them are felt – so more or less, 13 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher. Just this 7th of March, 2019, an earthquake of magnitude 3.0 passed through Beaver, UT.
Despite being felt or unfelt, one thing’s for sure – earthquakes are shaking up the ground. This means that the foundation in which our houses and buildings are built on is starting to falter. Foundation repair and lifting is crucial for the safety of the residents and the longevity of the structure found in locations riddled with earthquakes.
You can start assessing yourself whether or not your house might be needing some repairs from frequent earthquakes. Here are some signs you should watch out for:
1.) Visible cracks on your house’s exterior.
This is pretty straightforward; cracks would be the most visible sign that your house foundation is damaged. If the cracks are thin, like hairlines, then there’s nothing to worry about. Be thorough in examining how deep the cracks go and start to be concerned if they seem a little larger than usual. As a rule of thumb, any crack that is horizontal and wider than a quarter of an inch means trouble.
Once you’ve identified problematic cracks, get a flashlight and examine if it goes as deep as the steel base that reinforces the structure.
2.) Visible cracks on your house’s interior.
Just as well as the outside, make sure that you meticulously sweep through the interiors in search for signs of damage. Move around the furniture to reveal any corners or bottoms. These signs may well be hiding behind seemingly normal things. They are said to be most commonly found among door openings and the wall surrounding a window.
3.) Check the foundation
If it is accessible to you, it would be best to check on your house’s foundation. Since it would be absorbing most of the earthquake’s impact, it would also show the most signs of damage. If the blocks or bricks used for the foundation have already begun cracking, it is certainly damaged. Given its damaged condition, make sure to take extreme caution as either you may be injured in the process of inspection or you only further the damage that’s already there.
4 .) Take a step back to view your house
Earthquakes are caused by the movements of tectonic plates. These subtle movements and shifts can build up over time and cause the ground to be in a different form than before. Such as how a flat surface can now have an elevated quality forming a small hill or mump-like ground.
When you take a step back and look at your house from a distance, it becomes easier to tell whether or not it still stands on even ground. If you notice that the house is leaning more towards a particular direction, it’s probably damaged because of the foundation that’s forced to adjust from the ground’s movement.
After all of this, the only step left is actually to call professional services. Because unless you are a skillfully trained engineer with power tools and machinery made specifically for foundation repair, you cannot DIY this.