Carport designs

Last week’s 6.0 earthquake in Napa did more than just shake the ground. In many areas, structures were toppled in a region that does not often experience quakes this strong.

After Sunday’s quake, almost 40 buildings were declared too dangerous to enter until after an inspection. Many are now calling for older buildings to be retrofitted to current seismic standards — buildings built many years ago shake apart more easily.

A mobile home park experienced some of the worst damage, with several homes catching fire, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate to a temporary shelter. West of downtown Napa, two large carports collapsed during the quake, right on top of about 20 cars.

Repairing carports and everything else that has been affected by the quake will take companies some time. Luckily, building a carport isn’t too difficult, especially if one buys carport kits. These, though, are typically made from aluminum. Metal carports are only one option for homeowners or businesses looking for a way to cover valuable property. More permanent structures can also be made from brick and other traditional types of roof building materials.

By design, carports are intended for utility. They shield vehicles from some of the worst of the elements, including UV rays in the summer, and snow in the winter. Certain newer carports, though, add a double layer of utility — they also function as solar panels, collecting energy while doing their job at the same time. Though solar carports are relatively new, they are gaining traction in many areas looking to more fully take advantage of the space available to them.

As Napa residents and those assisting start to clean up the debris left by the quake, many might look for ways not just to restore buildings and structures, but for ways to improve them as well. And in this case, solar carports might interest people — especially in this sunny state where solar panels can collect more energy than in other parts of the country. Helpful research also found here.

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