There are many ways you can limit the damage a major earthquake could do to your house; most of them will require you to have a building consent. Watch the video below for ideas.
Earthquake-proofing measures include:
repairing or replacing damaged, decayed or unbraced pile foundations
installing, repairing or replacing under-floor and wall bracing
restraining hot-water cylinders and header tanks
replacing or removing brick and concrete-masonry chimneys – or strengthening the spaces below them
replacing loose and damaged concrete or clay roof tiles
repairing or replacing damaged retaining walls and old pipes and cables.
Get a professional assessment
If you’d like a professional assessment of your home, the Quakecheck service can help. A qualified builder will visit your home to check things that are commonly damaged in an earthquake, such as the chimney, foundations, roof tiles and hot water cylinder.
The assessment costs $160 (including GST) no matter how long it takes, and you’ll get a written report setting out the priorities and indicative costs of any work needed to make your home safer.
Keep your house on its foundations in an earthquake, using the fixtures and fittings in the Pryda foundation strengthening kit. Each comprehensive kit has enough fixings and fittings for up to 20 piles – enough to greatly improve your home’s earthquake resilience.
Before buying, you need to know if your house piles are concrete or timber as there’s a different kit for each. Pick up a kit right away from your local Mitre10 MEGA or order from Bunnings or PlaceMakers. For more information about the kits visit Pryda's website. This video shows you how to install the kit – it's easy:
Keep your stuff safe
To prevent damage and injury in an earthquake, it’s a good idea to restrain your large appliances and furniture.
Seismic Restraints also stock an extensive range of earthquake safety fasteners to secure common fixtures and furnishings in every part of your home.
If you want to do the work yourself, you must first get an ‘owner-builder exemption’ and complete a statutory declaration. Take a look at the MBIE website for more information and application forms. Note that future buyers of your house will be able to find out about the work you’ve done.