Here’s Why Your Brick Foundation Needs Replacement

brick foundation repair

Brick foundations are very common in Los Angeles.

However, properties that were built before 1910 with a brick foundation, might not have the necessary structural reinforcement needed to survive an earthquake.

Brick foundations that have been constructed without reinforced steel are identified as “unreinforced masonry,” and typically require foundation replacement.

It’s important to identify and remedy any signs of foundation problems early on.

brick foundation replacement los angeles

On the exterior if you’ve noticed any cracks, missing bricks or grout that’s turning to powder, it’s important to get your foundation inspected by a professional foundation contractor.

And on the interior, if you have any doors or windows that stick, your floors slope or are uneven, have hairline fractures in your tile or walls, these could all be signs that your brick foundation is failing.

There are a few repair methods a foundation company can use to fix structural issues with your brick foundation.

First, a foundation specialist will do a detailed assessment of your structure. From there, they’ll suggest which repair option will be the best correction method to fix your foundation.

Most likely, you contractor will recommend installing a sister foundation or doing a completely new foundation.

Like most structures, brick foundations will wear out over time. Wet soil, seismic activity and deterioration of the motor that holds the bricks together, can all lead to degradation and damage to your foundation.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

 

Buying a Home? Here’s How to Tell If the Foundation Is Structurally Sound

Purchasing a home is a major investment.

If you’ve been looking at properties that were built before 1930, there’s a chance these buildings may have some foundation issues.

Here are 4 things to be on the look for when shopping for older real estate:

  1. Doors and windows that stick: While this may not sound like a huge issue – let alone a deal breaker – when a property’s doors and windows begin to stick, this could mean there are larger problems with the home’s foundation. Whether the foundation’s structural supports have improper spacing or rotting, both can be expensive to repair and/or replace.
  2. Uneven/sloping floors: While doing your walk-through, if you notice uneven or sloping floors, this should be a big red flag. For starters, this means the home is not level. The underlying causes for this can range from cracks in the property’s foundation to severe damage, rotting or settlement to its supporting structures (like its posts, piers, girders, joists or even its footings).
  3. Cracks in the walls above the building’s doors and windows: If cracks in these areas look like they’re growing in length and/or width, this can also be a sign of foundation damage. It’s important to note how easy it is to mask these types of cracks with simple repairs, so if you see fresh paint or other repairs in these areas, make sure you ask the agent about what work has been done to the home and why.
  4. Foundation cracks: Finally, after you have inspected the home’s interior and exterior, ask to see the basement or crawl space of the structure. If you see any cracks in the walls, be sure to contact a foundation inspector to examine the area. Foundation repair companies, like Julian Construction, can conduct a thorough inspection before you purchase the property.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

New Maps Show Major Fault Lines Run Under L.A.’s Most Expensive Real Estate

beverly hills

New fault boundaries have raised concerns for some of the priciest parts of Los Angeles.

According to the latest fault maps – which were released on Thursday – Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Westwood and Century City have been included in the Newport-Inglewood fault zone.

While this isn’t news for certain areas of the Westside, the remapped fault boundaries affect some of the highest-priced real estate in L.A. and, as a result, could thwart future development of those areas because building on a fault line is restricted.

“It is important to not build on faults,” Tim Dawson, senior engineering geologist for the California Geological Survey, told the L.A. Times. “Building foundations will tend to break when the earth moves beneath them, damaging the building in the process.”

This is the first time the California Geological Survey has released official maps of these earthquake fault lines, connecting the Hollywood fault (which runs under Hollywood and Beverly Hills) to the Newport-Inglewood fault (which runs through Culver City, Pico-Robertson and Mid City).

earthquake fault

While the new fault boundaries could halt future development of these areas, it will not affect the current structures that already sit on or along these fault lines.

Buildings that are constructed on fault lines have a much higher risk of damage or collapse in the event of an earthquake.

The remapping of these fault lines is part of Los Angeles’ earthquake safety initiative, aiming to create more seismically safe structures and earthquake awareness throughout the city. Once these fault maps have been finalized, developers will need to hire a geologist to determine the viability of certain parts of Los Angeles before starting construction on land near or directly resting on these faults.

“Extra precautions should be taken to ensure new buildings are not located on the trace of an active fault,” Dawson stressed. “The purpose of the investigation is to identify if there are active faults present, and if there are, then they must be avoided.”

If your home was built prior to 1950, there’s a good chance your foundation is not seismically sound. Therefore, it’s important to contact a foundation specialist to inspect the area.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

Everything You Need to Know About Earthquake Retrofitting

earthquake damage

As a California resident, you know that earthquakes pose a real threat.

As we saw with the devastating Northridge earthquake of 1994, large seismic quakes can cause serious damage to buildings and homes. Thanks to advances in structural engineering, earthquake retrofitting is one of the most efficient ways to prevent damage to your home – injuries and even death – in the event of a massive earthquake.

When the earth shakes, buildings are more likely to be displaced from their concrete foundation or collapse if they are not properly secured to the ground.

Earthquake retrofitting increases a building or home’s resistance to this side-to-side motion, thereby incurring less damage and destruction.

There are few measures you can implement to retrofit a building, depending on the type of structure needing reinforcement.

Foundation bolting is when bolts are added, either with or without plates, to the existing wooden framing known as a sill plate. Bolts are typically attached to the wood that sits on top of the concrete. Whether the foundation is lacking bolts or if the older existing bolts are already in place and in good shape — but too far apart — careful installation of new foundation bolts will add strength to the structure. During the Northridge earthquake, homes lacking foundation bolts slid off their foundations and collapsed.

Cripple wall bracing is typically used to retrofit structures that have a wood-frame foundation in addition to a concrete foundation. The crawl space area located under the property can be just a few inches in height to a few feet, and is the area below where the floor of the home is connected to its foundation. In large earthquakes, cripple wall failure was the main source of structural damage causing the first floor of a building to collapse to the ground level. During a retrofit, the cripple wall is braced to keep it from giving out during a quake. By adding structural grade plywood framing to the wood framed foundation (known as a shear wall) the house will be able to withstand the side-to-side or back-and-forth shaking of an earthquake.

Soft story retrofits are typically used on multi-family apartment structures, condominiums and homes that have a large open space, like a tuck-under parking, located below the first floor living area. They’re referred to as “soft stories” because there is not enough reinforcement to protect the structure from the movement of an earthquake. In some soft story retrofits, a contractor will install plywood to brace the walls or install a steel moment frame to secure the area.

If your home was built prior to 1950, there’s a good chance your foundation is not seismically sound. Therefore, it’s important to contact a foundation specialist to inspect the area.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

Budget Cuts May Kill California’s Earthquake Warning System

The early earthquake warning system, which has received approval from elected officials in both parties, may be facing another bump in the road.

The system, which was set for limited release early next year, is on President Trump’s chopping block, thanks to newly proposed budget cuts.

Luckily, both Republicans and Democrats have rallied behind the early earthquake warning system and are working to save it.

Both parties are asking for a reversal of these budget cuts, and requesting that Congress disregards President Trump’s latest budget proposals.

Thanks to a House of Representatives subcommittee, Congress is expected to approve a new budget plan that would continue funding for California’s early earthquake warning system.

In May, congress appointed $10.2 million for the warning system’s present budget year … and President Trump has allocated zero dollars for next year’s budget.

The early earthquake warning system is estimated to cost $16.5 million a year to run and operate and a total of $38.2 million to build.

The earthquake warning system could give as much as a minute’s notice before the shaking of a major quake makes its way to densely populated cities and public areas.

The system would allow places like classrooms, offices, malls, amusement parks, hospitals, police stations and fire stations to have access to these alerts, saving many more lives with extra seconds to drop and cover.

Other countries around the world have already implemented similar earthquake warning systems, like Mexico and Japan.

For now, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prepare for the next “Big One.”

“The Big One is coming,” USGS research geophysicist Ken Hudnut told the L.A. Times. “The threat of the Big One on the southern San Andreas fault – the Coachella segment, where they have the big concerts down near palm springs – that threat is especially real.”

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles earthquake retrofitting, foundation inspection, foundation repair and foundation replacement. As the founder of Julian Construction, Julian and his company have inspected over 15,000 structures.

Julian Construction routinely works with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more seismic retrofit work in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

Julian Construction Offers Helical Piles

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company, is offering helical pile services in the Los Angeles area.

Helical piles are a foundation solution, a steel shaft with blades attached in a spiral pattern, similar to a wood screw. The pile is attached at the foundation on one end and screwed into the ground on the other. Not only do helical piles stabilize a structure, they also increase load bearing capacities in a retrofit.

There are several benefits to be had when helical piles are used. Some of the benefits homeowners can expect include:

• Quick installation; faster to install than standard concrete foundations.
• Small footprint, which means you can use helical pile foundations in restricted areas.
• Can be installed in any ground, whether it be soft ground, rocky or clay.
• Flexible design; helical piles are designed specifically for your project, taking in consideration the available space and type of soil.

Peter, a past client of Julian Construction, stated, “Julian Construction repaired my foundation and bolted my house down to it. The work was scheduled for just a couple of days after receiving the proposal, completed on time and passed inspection with no problem. The price was great too. Would definitely recommend Julian Construction to anyone.”

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middleman” model – no salesman, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323-733-3377, by fax at 323-733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://anchorla.com/blog/.

5 Most Common Types of Home Foundations

LOS ANGELES, CA: A foundation repair and construction company, Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com), is informing homeowners on the five types of home foundations.

Today, there are a large number of foundation types and most of these foundation types are determined based off a region’s climate and construction method. While it could be beneficial to know all of the different foundation types, there are five most common foundation types that all homeowners should know about. The five different types of home foundations include:

1. Poured concrete foundation. This is the most common type of home foundation and is formed by pouring a few inches of concrete with thicker edges.
2. Permanent wood foundation. This type of foundation is most popular in northern parts of the country where the basement is on a concrete floor and is framed with pressure treated wood.
3. Raised foundations. This type of foundation is best for areas that receive large amounts of rain.
4. Basement foundation. This type of foundation is to provide living space or storage and usually has more headroom than a crawlspace.
5. Crawlspace foundation. This type of foundation is similar to a basement foundation, however it has less headroom and is used where there is heavy clay content in the soil.

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middleman” model – no salesman, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323-733-3377, by fax at 323-733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://foundationrepairforlosangeles.com/blog/.

Raymond Fault Line Creates New Fears

A new section of the Raymond fault line, which runs through Los Angeles’ northeast areas, has been redefined.

The active fault, which caused the 4.9 earthquake in Pasadena back in 1988, has now been re-mapped extending to areas West of its original location.

The California Geological Survey sent out a revised map of the Raymond fault, adding more areas of Los Angeles like Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Highland Park within its zone.

Not only has the active area already released  fairly large earthquakes, seismologists estimate the fault line is capable of producing a size 7 quake.

If such an event occurred, we could see massive damage, injury and even death in and around northeast areas of Los Angeles and, now, locations west of the original fault zone. Seismologists also argue that such an earthquake could set off the Hollywood fault, adding more chaos to some of L.A.’s most densely populated areas.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles is committed to improving earthquake safety. New laws and regulations have ensured that older buildings throughout the city undergo retrofits and an early earthquake warning system is close to completion.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

Scientists Predict 8.2 Earthquake in Los Angeles’ Future

 

The San Andreas fault just got a little scarier.

According to new data, one area of the active San Andreas fault line could lead to major destruction if ruptured during an earthquake.

Tucked between the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass, the area of the fault likewise functions as an aqueduct that provides many areas of Southern California with water from the Colorado River.

And according to earthquake experts, if a massive quake occurred along the San Andreas fault line and collapsed passes like San Gorgonio – and other areas like the Cajon Pass and Tejon Pass — it would cut off resources like power, water, oil and gas for weeks and even months to many parts of So. Cal.

Another scary scenario would be an earthquake originating at the Salton Sea, making its way to the center of Los Angeles. Though such a quake has never been recorded, seismologists says there’s a definite possibility this could be in Southern California’s future.

If an earthquake started in the Salton Sea, it’d have to be a 8.2 in magnitude to eventually land near Paso Robles.

Since earthquakes started being recorded, a quake has occurred along the San Andreas fault line – near areas like the Grapevine – every 100 years, and it’s been 160 years since the last major earthquake occurred there.

“With 300 miles of fault all going in the same earthquake, you have everybody affected at the same  time,” seismologist Lucy Jones told the L.A. Times. “The San Andreas is the one that will produce the earthquake that’s going to cause damage in every city.”

Meaning, everywhere from Santa Barbara to San Diego would be affected at the same time, limiting emergency resources and response.

While scientists estimate that the San Andreas fault has moved 22 miles in the last million years, there’s still no telling when the next “Big One” will hit.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles is staying committed to improving earthquake safety. New laws and regulations have ensured that older buildings throughout the city undergo retrofits and an early earthquake warning system is close to completion.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

New Study Suggests San Diego’s At Greater Risk for Major Earthquakes

According to new data, San Diego is at a greater risk for a major earthquake in comparison to other areas in Southern California. The fault line that runs under the city has the capability of producing not only stronger quakes, but more frequent earthquakes.

Researchers at San Diego State University found that San Diego’s Rose Canyon fault line has the capability of producing an earthquake ranging in a 6.5 to 6.8 magnitude every 700 years.

“A powerful quake in the mid-to-upper 6s could cause liquefaction around San Diego and Mission bays and locally in Mission Valley, and cause the land to be offset across the fault, which would damage buildings,” seismologist Tom Rockwell said about the new information.

Soil liquefaction happens when the soil has become wet and loses significant durability and strength when it’s subjected stress. This stress typically occurs during an earthquake, which can make the building’s sediments function like a liquid rather than a solid material.

Liquefaction is, of course, a major property hazard, and could affect the safety of residents in and around San Diego.

Though once believed to be inactive, researchers originally thought that the fault line had the ability to produce a quake of higher magnitudes every 1,500 years. According to new data, that number has significantly decreased.

The Rose Canyon fault made headlines earlier this year, when scientists discovered that links between that fault line and the Newport-Inglewood fault line could potentially cause one massive earthquake — as high as a 7.4 magnitude — affecting areas like Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego simultaneously.

“These two fault zones are actually one continuous fault zone,” said author Valerie Sahakian, researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

The last time the area suffered a quake similar in size was the 6.4 earthquake that shook Long Beach in 1933, leaving 120 people dead.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.