Soft story buildings are buildings with irregular configurations that are considered hazardous in the event of earthquakes. These configurations are flaws in architectural decisions, and they have been recognized by earthquake engineers as the serious sources of damage when such a calamity strikes.
Also referred to a weak story building, these structures have one part or floor of a building more flexible than the others. Such a part may be located at the bottom, intermediate points, or any of the floors above. The soft story simply pertains to that weak point that would easily collapse in the presence of seismic forces.
How to Spot a Soft Story Building
Soft story is almost always present in older buildings. Many old buildings are constructed in such a way the first floor is built with far weaker support that the floors above it. And so when the earth moves, it doesn’t have enough strength to withstand the pressure and would easily fold.
These kinds of buildings usually have open spaces on the ground floor, which is usually intended as parking utilities or people spaces. If you see this type of building, then you can say that it is a soft story building, and it may be potentially perilous in case an earthquake occurs.
How to Resolve Soft Story Buildings
To make these buildings more resilient to seismic activities, retrofitting is necessary. Retrofitting is an investment that all owners of older builders have to make in order to ensure the stability of its structure and prevent property damage, as well as the potential loss of lives. When the ground floor of the building gives out, then the first floor would have to withstand the weight of all the floors above it. This is very dangerous if there are people living on the lower floor.
Expert retrofitters will inspect the building and determine all its weak points. Then they will proceed to build additional support, foundation, and structure so as to would sustain the floors above it. The soft story part will be made stronger, thereby protecting the people and property occupying them.
Soft Story Retrofit San Francisco
If your home or building needs retrofitting, you have to call the experts right away. Retrofitting is a type of construction project that has to be carried out immediately as you never know when earthquakes may happen. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
California is a hotspot for earthquakes, which is why the demand for soft story retrofit San Francisco is always high. Schedule an appointment with the experts to be educated about retrofitting and understand how it works. They should also give you a fair idea as to how much the entire project will cost.
When lives and properties are placed in danger, everything in one’s should be done to prevent the problem. Retrofitting is an essential step in complying with the local laws in order to make sure that a building is safe for habitation. Otherwise, it may be closed down with the owner possibly paying hefty fines and charges for not complying.