Ask an Expert: Blasting & Earthquake Damages

Ask An Expert is a question-and-answer column designed to address common questions related to forensic investigation and property damage. Each month we’ll feature one or two questions submitted by you – our readers and customers – and provide detailed, easy-to-understand answers. Email your questions to [email protected] or submit your questions here.

Question #1: Where can you research who is blasting in the area?

Russ Zeckner, P.E., CFEI: Check with the state department responsible for regulating blasting, typically the mines and minerals department.

Question #2: Does the air blast from an explosion affect all sides of the building?

A: No, typically the air blast affects the side of the building facing the explosion most severely.

Question #3:  Do wall anchors weaken if a property is affected by multiple earthquakes?

A: If an earthquake occurs but does not weaken an anchor, then a second quake of similar magnitude will not weaken the anchor.  However, if the first event weakened the anchor then subsequent earthquakes (even of weaker magnitude) could exacerbate the problem.  Proving this one way or the other would likely be difficult unless a baseline had been established before any events occurred.  Lab testing could also establish a basis for a general conclusion.

Question #4:  Can you provide links to resources that are useful in researching seismic activity?

A: Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE)
United States Geological Service (USGS):
Main Site:
Did you feel it?:
Shake Maps:


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About the Expert

Mr. Russ Zeckner joined Donan in 2000 and currently serves as forensic engineer and principal consultant, a position held by Donan professionals with the highest level of technical expertise and industry experience. Mr. Zeckner is a subject matter expert in mold, foundation failures, water intrusion, plumbing, spontaneous combustion, fire suppression systems, and other areas. Mr. Zeckner works on a variety of projects at Donan including water intrusion, structural damage impacts, construction defects, environmental issues, residential plumbing, and mold problems. He also provides fire investigator support related to appliance or similar fire causes. Mr. Zeckner is a licensed professional engineer in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, and is a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator. He earned his Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisville’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering (formerly Speed Scientific School).

View Russ’s full professional profile here.

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