One of the worst things that a building owner will experience is an earthquake. Even the slightest ground movement could result in significant damage. While you may be utterly concerned with the cracks on the walls, the one you should worry about is structural damage that may not be visible to the naked eyes. Once an earthquake subsides, the first thing you must do is ensure everyone is out of harm’s way. After that, you must focus on a post-earthquake building inspection. The purpose of the inspection is to figure out if the building is in condition for reoccupation and if there are severe structural damages that you need to address with immediacy.
Always Plan Ahead
The key to saving your building from further damage and the possibility of the irreparable condition is planning. It means you must get your hands on a comprehensive building inspection checklist after earthquake. You must also look for the right people to work with, like structural engineers, building inspectors, and disaster experts. The truth is you must get a hold of those people even before an earthquake strikes. The idea is for you to call them right away to do an inspection. You do not want to see yourself cramming to get help when you already look at your building with severe damage after a quake.
The Inspection Checklist
An experienced building inspector comes armed with the building inspection checklist after earthquake. The document contains critical information in determining which components and parts of the building needs checking. The building inspector or structural engineer will perform a walkthrough so that they can come up with suggestions about the repair process. Keep in mind that a building inspection is done after a building or structure endures an earthquake is not like the one you commission when you are about to purchase a house or property. If you look at the checklist, you will realise that the process involved is a lot more complicated. Aside from figuring out if there are structural issues that you must address right away, the checklist also contains information about the dangers and risks of reoccupying the building.
Furthermore, the inspection report furnished by the building inspector or structural engineer will determine if there is a need for reinforcement strategies. In most instances, there is a recommendation for reinforcement since it acts as a preventative measure. There is a possibility that the building might hide some damage that will only surface after people start reoccupying it. No building owner would want to see the structure collapsing with people in it.
Keep in mind that the inspection process will take a while, and there is a good reason behind it. If you want to retain the function of your building, you must invest in an inspection. In reality, you do not have that much of choice.