A free online tool called QuakeGrade is available help home inspection specialists evaluate a house’s vulnerability to earthquake damage. The new tool debuted recently at the California Real Estate Inspection Association’s annual conference.
Using information entered by an inspector, the new tool developed by the California Earthquake Authority collects data about a house’s structural and geological risks, the nonprofit insurer says in a statement.
It can calculate a vulnerability score, offer suggestions for improvements and generate a detailed report that can be sent to a homeowner or buyer, the announcement says.
“We want to help Californians learn more about their risks for earthquake damage to their homes,” said Glenn Pomeroy, chief executive of the privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance. “QuakeGrade is a great new tool and will help homeowners see what specific steps they can take to lower the risk of shake damage to their house.”
The tool can be used on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones and is available to state licensed engineers, contractors and certified home inspectors. It is based on guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assessing the seismic vulnerabilities of single-family, wood-frame dwellings and the agency’s guidelines for retrofitting those dwellings.
“Seismic inspections will help people learn about their house’s vulnerabilities to shake damage during a strong earthquake,” Janiele Maffei, CEA’s chief mitigation officer, says in a statement. “QuakeGrade can be part of simplifying the seismic evaluation process.”