How to Earthquake-Proof a Post Beam

When you earthquake proof your home, you need to make some essential moves and prevent other risks such as gas leaks or fires. You will also need to earthquake proof the post beams in your home, as these may easily collapse and injure someone or facilitate a fire.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Soil sample
  • Measuring tape
  • Side ladder
  • Concrete base
  • Bolts
  • Drill

Step 1 – Check the pH of Soil

The pH of the soil in your area may influence the choices you make when you earthquake proof your home. Gather a soil sample from your yard and take it to a geologist that can tell you more about the composition of the soil and what you can do to earthquake proof the home and the post beams.

Step 2 – Choose Material before Construction

If possible, you should make the choices of materials and types of post beams before you build the house, especially if you live in an area where earth quakes are common.

The choice of round post beams is more practical, as these beams will be more resistant during earth quakes. Typically, square poles are less sturdy during an earthquake and are more likely to break due to winds, as the fibers of the wood have been already altered when cutting the wood into squares.

Step 3 – Remove Items that are in Proximity of Post Beam

When earthquake proofing your home, you need to remove all items that are in the proximity of post beams. Make sure that if the post beam breaks or falls, the damage will not be severe. Remove all flammable items or heaters that are in the way of the post beam. Measure the distances using a side ladder and measuring tape; ensure that all the items in the room are at a safe distance from the post beam in case this collapses.

Step 4 – Check the Base of the Post Beam

The post beam should be placed into a sturdy base. This base can be made of concrete, which is a heavy material and will make sure that the weight of the post beam is concentrated in the bottom part, so it will be less likely to collapse.  

The base should be chosen prior to placing the post beam in the construction. Most beams are placed in blocks of concrete. Sprung concrete bases are shock absorbent and may be recommended if you live in an earth quake prone area. These bases have springs in the middle. If the post beams in your home don’t have a concrete base, you can pour concrete around the post beams to secure them.

Step 5 – Fasten Post Beam to Base

To further earthquake proof the post beams in your house, you should bolt these to the concrete blocks. Use a drill and lag bolts to perform this task. Insert at least 4 bolts into the concrete base.