When the earth shakes violently enough to rattle your teeth, it can also rattle your home’s integrity. As the land below your house buckles, rises, or shivers, your home does too. So, after a quake plays with the building, what signs should you look for that something may not be right? Here are four things to check about your house after an earthquake.

Chimney Cracks

Check for cracks in the brick and mortar of the chimney to make sure the area around the liner is still intact. Make sure the complete unit is still securely attached to the roof of your home as well. If there is debris inside or out, call a professional for help.

Foundation Fractures

If you find your house foundation or slab has cracks, fractures, or ruptures, it may be time to call in a professional that can inject foam into the problem areas or use piers to even your home’s support base out again.

External Structure

The outside of your home may have some cracks, ripped siding, broken windows, or missing roofing tiles. Before you go inside, check your home’s integrity by looking for vibrations when vehicles drive by. If your home was covered in stucco and has large pieces missing and the windows are broken out, it probably means you should not go inside until you find out if it is safe to do so.

Utility Connections

If you home was thrown about more than an inch or two, the connecting wires, hoses, and pipes from the city or municipal utilities may have come undone or been torn away from the building. Check the gas, water, electrical, and sewage lines if you can. If you flush a toilet and water puddles in your front yard, call for help.

Before entering your home after an earthquake rumbles, make sure the structure is safe. If you do need to call for advice, use the four topics above to help clarify how serious your need for help is. Your home will thank you.