Does your home have a brick foundation?
Brick foundations are quite common in Los Angeles, but as much as they can be aesthetically pleasing, there are some risks associated with these structures.
Like most substances, the motar – which is used to glue the bricks to one another – degrades over time. So much so, that the bricks will become loose to the point where they eventually fall out.
Because of this outdated construction method, brick foundations are classified as “unreinforced masonry,” which means that there is no continual attachment able to hold the bricks in place. It’s also known that this foundation is typically not strong enough to withstand a significant earthquake, since there is no good way to retrofit to a brick.
While seismically retrofitting a brick foundation is technically not possible, contractors specializing in brick foundation repair will use what’s called a “sister foundation” or an “in place foundation” to reinforce the structure.
Companies, like Julian Construction, can update your brick foundation with a few simple steps.
First if using a “sister foundation,” they’ll line the inside of the brick with a new foundation. This allows the brick to be reinforced, the structures load path to be transformed and ensures that the original look and style of the building stay intact.
It’s important to get your foundation properly assessed before Los Angeles suffers the next big earthquake. Not only do you risk seeing your home collapse, it’s far more cost-effective to correct a brick foundation now rather than risk the structure coming off of its foundation in the future.
There are a few ways to tell if your brick foundation especially needs repair and/or replacement:
1. If you can see places where bricks have fallen out of the foundation, you should get an inspection.
2. If there are cracks in the exterior or interior walls and/or the foundation, you should get an inspection.
3. If your foundation is uneven and if there are visible cracks, you should get an inspection.
There may also be issues from within the structure that are not visible to the untrained eye, so if you have any concerns it’s best to have an inspector to asses the situation.
Aside from brick foundation repair, there are preventative measures that you and your contractor can discuss to make sure that your home’s foundation stays strong and your brick continues to look its best.
Julian Construction is its own contractor and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, 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.