Earthquakes and House Damages

Earthquakes are some of the most hazardous natural disasters in existence. They can result into significant injuries and even deaths. But it is important to point out that natural disasters such as earthquakes pose a threat not just to life, but also to property, especially houses.

There are generally three factors that affect the level of damage a house may sustain, and they are the following:

·       The strength of the earthquake – a stronger earthquake usually translates to greater damages

·       The distance from the earthquake source – the closer the house is to the source of the earthquake or the earthquake itself, the stronger force it will sustain, so it is likely that it will also receive more damage

·       The condition of the soil under the house – different soils react differently to earthquakes, like how soils near bodies of water are more prone to liquefaction and cause more damage to your house

The most common house damage associated with earthquakes is structural, meaning that the very structure of the house is at risk. Structural damage usually manifests in the following:

·       Wall cracks and collapse – the sheer force of earthquakes can make walls crack and even collapse

·       Uneven floors – floors can pop up or sink in, and at their worst, they may even be out of level with the other parts of the house

·       Electrical and gas line damages – structures within your house, such as wiring and gas systems can sustain damage, and the damage may even be severe enough to cause fires and explosions and may warrant replacements

·       Misalignments – parts of the house that need to close or lock, such as doors and windows, do not do so, because they can become misaligned

·       Glass breaks – parts of the house made of glass, such as windows, can break

The website of the Texas property appraisers at K2 Consulting & Services, LLC mentions that it may be hard to appraise the value of your property and assess the value of damage. For this reason, it is important to enumerate the different structural damages above, so you can have an idea what to specifically look at when checking for damages.

You should also not overlook the damage earthquakes can do to appliances, furniture, and personal belongings, especially those that have been unsecured.

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