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Dear PoPville – Finding Cracks After the Earthquake, How To Determine if they are Significant?

by Prince Of Petworth August 24, 2011 at 10:30 am 33 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

Just wondering if you know of a good resource to check and see if earthquake cracks are serious or not. I have a couple (see photo above) that I’m fairly certain are not serious (<1inch wide - though they go up the length of the walls) and don't seem very deep, but like of Petworth residents, I'm not used to earthquake damage and I live in an old house. I don't want to get all hysterical over something cosmetic, but I want to know if I should have a structural engineer come out, and, if so, whether it should be sooner rather than later. It seems fairly cosmetic (again, I'm no expert) - I'm just concerned about it's length at this point. It stretches up the stairwell from the 2nd floor baseboards to 3rd floor ceiling."

Another reader writes:

“I have a question regarding damage caused by the earthquake. I live in a four floor apartment building on Kenyon St. between 13 and 14. When I got home from work, I noticed that the earthquake has cause new cracks along the length of one wall above two large windows, above the doorway to the bathroom, as well as above a window in the kitchen. While the cracks may be insignificant, I still feel like they should be reported and perhaps an inspection should be done on the whole building.

So I guess my question is, who should I report this to? Of course I plan on telling my management company but they don’t always follow through. Should I report this to the city or is it too insignificant?”

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