Foundations are the primary connection of your house to the ground and ensuring they are strong will help keep you and those inside safe in an earthquake.
“Checking your foundations are properly secured will help minimise any movement in a natural disaster such as an earthquake,” says Research Manager Dr Richard Smith.
“EQC is encouraging homeowners across New Zealand to check their foundations because carrying out any necessary repairs or strengthening work can reduce the risk and cost of any damage in the future.”
Homeowners should check that their piles are standing straight, in good condition, and have not been exposed due to ground excavations. Piles that have been infested by borer or concrete piles that are crumbling also need attention.
Dr Smith says that that anyone who is checking their subfloor needs to be cautious at all times particularly if the cavity underneath their house is small or the area has been excavated.
“You should always make sure that you have taken all safety precautions before starting your inspection. Make sure someone else knows you’re under the house and the areas you will be checking. Always wear the appropriate safety equipment including a hard hat and boots.
“If in doubt, get a licensed building professional to do the check for you, as they know what to look for and how to do it safely.
“The time taken now to check your foundations can make a big difference to the safety and security of your house in the future,” says Dr Smith.
To find out more, visit www.eqc.govt.nz/foundations
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