Who We Are
Secure Seismic is an Oregon-based residential contractor that specializes in seismic retrofit. We have an engineer on staff and partner with numerous structural engineers to offer unique and cost-effective solutions that are designed to protect your home with minimal intrusion and cost.
We will assess the state of your home and explain your options so that you the homeowner can feel confident in the quality and necessity of the work. We will not cut corners, and just as importantly, we will not recommend additional work that will not make your home safer.
Our commitment is to offer the highest level of expertise AND service. We work hard to work within your schedule, and perform the work in way that minimizes your preparation effort. We are here to make your home safe and also recognize that you are the customer.
Where We Live
Portland, Oregon, and many of the surrounding cities and towns in Oregon and Washington lie in the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ). The earthquake potential of this area and its dangers have been discussed in the news at length. Detailed technical discussions about what makes our area unique can be found online at the U.S. Geological Survey.
Subduction zone earthquakes are the strongest type, a “full margin rupture” of the Cascadia subduction zone would break a section of the North American Plate over 600 miles long and have a maximum strength in excess of magnitude 9.0. In short, earthquakes in our region are infrequent but very, very strong.
What We Do
The goal of a seismic retrofit is to keep your home attached to its foundation. In the past foundations were typically designed to deal with vertical loads only, to keep your home from sinking into the ground.
But hurricanes, and more importantly for us, earthquakes, introduce lateral or side forces into your home…and older foundations were not designed to deal with this. The retrofitting process “attaches” your home to its foundation, and brings lateral forces from the wood framing and structure down to the concrete.
What Makes Secure Seismic Different
There are only a handful of contractors in the area that are truly knowledgeable and capable, Secure Seismic is one of those. We have an engineer on staff and the ability to work through almost any complication that comes up.
After you’ve assessed whether your contractor has the requisite technical knowledge, you need to decide whether you want to work with them. We make service, working around your schedule, and the constraints of your life a priority. We take into consideration noise and work hours. During job prep, we will meet ahead of time to minimize your work and intrusion. We try to make the process as seamless, easy, and clean as possible.
With so much demand for this work, and so few qualified providers, it can seem like you, the customer, is not the primary concern. We’re working to correct this.
Do I Need To Do This?
The state of Oregon has put together a really great…albeit dry…document summarizing the history of building codes and how they pertain to your home and your home’s capacity to deal with an earthquake.
Houses built before 1975 likely have no connections between the wood framing and concrete. Houses built before the early ‘90s likely have connections, but ones that are insufficient for the earthquake we are expecting. If your house was built before 1994 you should definitely have someone qualified take a look at it.
What To Do
Prepare your family and your home for this potential event and other potential emergencies. Sit down with your family and go through your emergency plan explicitly and in detail. Have supplies, food, water, lights, batteries. There are numerous sources at the local and national level to help you prepare. Join or form a neighborhood preparedness group.