As a result of the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that shook Virginia Tuesday afternoon, aging infrastructure, water and gas lines may have been compromised. East Coast earthquake activity is less frequent than those on the West Coast, but many times they are more dangerous. Seismic vibrations are shallower and can be felt over a larger region. Richmond was the closest city to the epicenter, located nearly 35 miles northwest. But the shock was felt as far away as New York City and Toronto.
Immediately after the quake, federal workers returned to their duties in Washington to find flooding on the third floor of the Pentagon. A water pipe had burst, sounding an alarm to inform employees there was significant standing water inside the building. The Washington Monument has been closed indefinitely after cracks were discovered in the stones. Structural damage was also reported in Culpeper and Orange Counties in Virginia. Overall damage has been estimated at $100 million.
Earthquakes can cause underground pipes to shift and structural fractures to occur in swimming pools. Homeowners are encouraged to inspect their residences and check for any structural damage. If you discover new cracks greater than 1/4-inch, excessive bowing of walls, ceilings or floorboards, or the smell of natural gas, evacuate the building immediately and call a professional.
For water leaks, pool leaks or any minor structural damage, contact your local American Leak Detection office to request service.
“Leaks are not only expensive, they may threaten the surrounding environment and cause serious damage to foundations and footings,” says Jimmy Carter, Sr. Director of Field Services of American Leak Detection. “It’s important to check for leaks after an earthquake or any natural disaster.”
Following an earthquake, the following warning signs are helpful for local residents:
Warning signs of hidden pipe leaks
- A water meter that registers when all water is turned off
- Running toilets and dripping faucets
- Musty odors coming from floors or walls near drains or sewers
- Spongy, soft or discolored walls
- A cracked or unusually damp foundation or slab
- Warm spots on concrete slab floors, mildew or excessive moisture under carpets
According to Carter, American Leak Detection uses the most advanced, electronic leak detection equipment without destroying walls or digging up the entire yard. The company performs non-invasive leak detection with proprietary methods and state-of-the-art technology.