Is Your Home Safe in an Earthquake?
If you live in California, you know it’s only a matter of time before the next big earthquake strikes.
As a homeowner, it’s important to take all of the necessary precautions to earthquake proof your property – this will protect those who reside there, while also saving thousands of dollars in repair and damage after a large quake.
Unfortunately, many homes — throughout California and especially in Los Angeles — were constructed without the necessary safeguards to protect these properties from the intense shaking that occurs during a large earthquake.
Some of these structural weaknesses include a home that isn’t anchored to its foundation, unbraced water heaters, weak cripple walls, homes built on pier and post foundations, unreinforced masonry foundations, steep hillsides, and homes with unreinforced masonry walls or rooms over garages.
One of the most common forms of earthquake damage and destruction can occur when a home has not been properly bolted to its foundation. When this is the case, the home can slip off the foundation and even collapse during a quake. The damage can be so severe that the home needs to be torn down.
Luckily, this potentially dangerous situation can be fixed with house bolting – which is the process of anchoring the home to its foundation.
Other common issues that can lead to structural vulnerabilities in the face of an earthquake are poor construction or inadequate soil conditions.
A foundation can become weak over time due to the materials used in its construction, soil or water issues. The chances of damage from an earthquake are much higher when there is any type of pre-existing foundation problems.
Luckily, there are a number of affordable solutions for reinforcing these home foundations.
Cripple walls can be strengthened by adding braces, so that when a quake hits, the braces will help prevent wall movement and collapse.
Pier and post foundations, which can fall over during a quake if they are not well-supported, can be strengthened by adding bracing as well.
And foundations made of concrete, brick, or stone, in addition to masonry walls and chimneys, can be corrected with house leveling, which can minimize damage.
When a structure isn’t properly braced or supported, earthquake damage can also include floor, wall and window damage; damage to personal items within the house, broken gas and utility lines, fire (from broken gas lines), in addition to physical injuries to the home’s occupants.
If you own an older property in Los Angeles and/or you believe your home has structural weaknesses, you should get a foundation inspection by an experienced foundation contractor.
Foundation issues are best addressed by a foundation repair expert who has an extensive history of working on homes throughout your area. Retrofitting your home can minimize the damage from a quake and prevent injuries.
At Julian Construction, we’ll conduct a free home inspection for you, complete with a quote for repair.
We have extensive experience serving our Los Angeles community and nearby regions. In fact, Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures in the area!
Julian Construction was formed in 1994 and our focus has always been on building foundations, doing foundation repair and replacement, earthquake retrofitting, and house leveling.
When you work with Julian Construction, you get the principles of the company and the workers of Julian Construction under your home.
And in order to keep foundation repair affordable for our customers, we offer a price guarantee — because we know our quote for repair will represent your very best value.