Unlike the mandatory retrofit of soft-story structures in Los Angeles, as a homeowner you can proactively retrofit your home.
Typically, for the average single family residence, the cost is somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 dollars, assuming there are no special conditions. Relative to the value of Los Angeles’ real estate, retrofitting offers low-cost peace of mind.
If your house was built before 1960, your home’s foundation may not be up to current safety codes. In California, homes built before 1949 were not required to be bolted to their foundations.
Bolting your home to its foundation or bracing the structure’s cripple walls is a small price to pay for the safety of your family and the protection of your greatest investment, your home.
If you live in an older home, here are three things to look for:
- Water damage: When water enters the home’s crawl space – the area located below the house – the wooden posts that hold the structure up can become weak after sitting in wetness for an extended period. Over time, these posts will shift, rot and lose strength. If you notice any water damage in your home, contact a foundation specialist for an inspection.
- Sinking floors, damaged drywall or tight doors/ windows: If there are areas of your home that aren’t functioning like they used to, these could be signs of foundation damage. Unevenness in your floors, cracks in your drywall or interior doors and windows that stick, may mean that the piers and posts located below your home have shifted, making your home more vulnerable to damage and/or collapse in the event of a large earthquake.
- Termite damage: If you’ve suffered a pest problem recently, there’s a chance that your home’s foundation may need replacement or repair. Termites feed on a home’s structure, so make sure to contact a foundation specialist for an inspection.
If you suspect your home may need earthquake retrofitting, contact Julian Construction for a free inspection.
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.