The following information is a brief summary and aid to assist property owners in the initial assessment phase of reclaiming their homes and businesses by providing guidance to assessing the damage that you are encountering as a result of the South Napa Earthquake.
After suffering from a disaster, historic property owners are challenged with the basic question of where to begin. Often, homeowners and businesses may not have the time, energy, resources, or knowledge to make a these quick decisions regarding the home and how to distinguish salvageable fabric from that which is dispensable. One rule of thumb is that if it is historic, it is worth saving.
To start, the best approach to repair and restoration after a disaster is often done with the “gentlest means possible”. In other words, approach the building gently and work up to the appropriate solution rather than starting with the harshest approach.
Questions to ask yourself before work begins:
- Am I repairing historic materials rather than removing or replacing them?
- Am I using “like” materials?
- Is this treatment “reversible?”
Despite the drastic circumstances, please keep in mind that most historic buildings and structures are built extremely well and protecting the historic materials and working with qualified historic preservation specialists, contractors, and architectures can help insure your investment is worth saving. The key to the thought process after a disaster is to keep in mind there are often simpler solutions to the problems you are facing in your home; rather than drastic approaches that are rarely necessary.
Napa County Landmarks is available to help historic property owners understand historic building material, and also to learn where to find answers to protecting, preserving and maintaining their investments.