Seismic Retrofitting in Vancouver Island

Strengthen Your Foundation to Protect Against Earthquake Damage

Is your foundation protected against the next earthquake? Without proper fastening, it is likely that your home will suffer some damage between the concrete foundation and main floor. This is where the cripple wall will collapse during the shaking, resulting in a partial or complete collapse of your home.

While we do not provide seismic assessments, we can provide you with a quote or estimate to upgrade your crawl space or basement at the same time that we're providing your waterproofing and insulation retrofit repairs. This will help to strengthen your foundation to protect against seismic damage. Some homes with unfinished basements or crawl spaces are easy for us to provide an estimate based on the Simpson prescriptive seismic retrofit program. Other times, we may need to engage an engineering designer.

If you would like an assessment of your home, we can recommend a local Engineering firm, and they can provide the foundation assessment, which we can then prepare a quote or estimate for you. Assessments generally cost around $1500 for an engineer review.

Risks to Vancouver Island Homes from Earthquakes

Benefits of seismic support services

  • Is perfect for homes in seismic zones
  • Increases chances earthquake survival for homes and families
  • Increases the home's ability to act as a shelter after an earthquake
  • Reduces repair costs after an earthquake
  • Reduces earthquake insurance premiums and deductibles

There are many areas in Vancouver Island at risk of an earthquake.

During an earthquake or seismic event, there are two types of force that can damage a home or structure, including:

Lateral force, also known as shear force, is horizontal impact that results in side-to-side movement or racking. When a house shakes, it weakens the structure and can cause it to slide off the foundation.

Uplift force is vertical impact, causing up and down movement, which can lead to a house overturning or lifting off the foundation.

The good news is there are steps you can take to safeguard your home against earthquakes and other natural disasters.

If you are performing any work to your foundation, then now is the right time to provide the earthquake seismic upgrades. If you're doing some energy efficiency upgrades, it makes a lot of sense to install the seismic upgrades before covering everything in spray foam or insulation.

Do I Need to Seismic Retrofit My Home?

Seismic protection for crawl spaces in Vancouver Island with Island Basement Systems.

Crawl spaces make homes vulnerable during a
seismic event.

Certain types of homes are more likely to need a seismic retrofit than others. If any of the following situations apply to you, then you should consider retrofitting your home.

  • Earthquake zones: If you live within a geographic area that is considered a seismic region, or an area where earthquakes occur more frequently or severely.
  • Older homes: Homes built within the last 25 years were designed with strict building codes that better protect against earthquake forces. Residences built before this timeframe are typically more vulnerable to damage from seismic forces.
  • Raised foundations: If your home was built on a raised foundation, then it is likely your home has a crawl space. Crawl spaces are vulnerable to damage because the supporting structure beneath the home is not properly anchored to resist earthquake forces.
  • Homes built on a hillside: These homes also have crawl spaces but because they were built on a hillside or a sloped surface, the damage following a seismic event tends to be more severe because the supporting posts were built with different heights due to the region.
  • Rooms built above a garage: Due to the large door, garages tend to be a vulnerable area. To reinforce this weakness, the thin walls surrounding the opening need to be better supported - it is even more critical if there is a living space above the garage since the garage supports additional weight.

For more information about seismic retrofitting and how to determine whether your home needs more protection against earthquakes, please click here [PDF].

Assessment and Structural Repair

Continuous Load Path Protection in Vancouver Island with Island Basement Systems

During your assessment, we can provide a scope of upgrades that fit your budget, desires, and risk tolerance. The style and age of the home is an important factor in the design process. For example, a single story home on a 2-foot tall crawlspace in Saanich will have less risk and consequences than a two or three story home built on tall piers over a cliff.

The four steps of improving your home's seismic resistance is all based on a continuous load path:

1. Secure the cripple wall to the concrete foundation

2. Secure the first floor to the cripple wall

3. Secure the second floor to the first floor (if you have one)

4. Secure the roof to the second floor

Creating a Continuous Load Path

Continuous load paths throughout the home reinforce the structure while resisting lateral and uplifting forces. A continuous load path redistributes external forces by transferring the impact from the frame to the foundation. Once the force is transferred, your home is more likely to withstand a seismic event and sustain less damage.

Ideally, houses built within the last 25 years should have included a continuous load path within the frame. To confirm whether your home has the proper protection against earthquakes, Island Basement Systems can conduct a no-cost structural evaluation of your home.

Island Basement Systems uses the Simpson Strong-Tie seismic system, which makes the upgrades for your one or two-story wood-framed house simple and cost effective. We can also help with more complex upgrades.

Free Structural Inspections for Earthquake Retrofitting

As part of our inspection for your waterproofing, crawl space repair, or energy efficiency upgrades, we can also provide some recommendations for your seismic upgrades. 

We provide reliable, no-cost structural inspections with all our seismic retrofitting services.

Call 1-855-206-4811 or click below to schedule your free structural inspection and service estimate in British Columbia, including Victoria, Nanaimo, Saanich and surrounding areas!

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

our service area

We serve the following areas

Our Locations:

Island Basement Systems
467 John St
Victoria, BC V8T5H1
Our service area