Own a Home? Why Seismic Retrofitting & Foundation Repair is Necessary

Posted October 25, 2019, under Blog

Seismic retrofitting is the only reinforcement method to ensure your home and the loved ones who reside there are protected during a large earthquake.

Seismic retrofitting is a technique that modifies your existing property’s structure, making your house more resistant to soil failure and ground shaking which both can occur during an earthquake.

Seismic Retrofitting Your Home:

For residential properties, seismic retrofitting modifies your existing home structure making the property compliant with current building codes and safety measures. This is done by anchoring the still plate of the foundation to keep your home from sliding of its foundation during a quake.

One of the benefits of seismic retrofitting is that the process is relatively quick – most home retrofits can be completed in a week.

During an earthquake, homes that were built with older or unstructurally sound foundations typically experience different types of foundation failure.

The most common foundation failures are: sliding, when the property slides off its foundation, racking, when the cripple wall of the property buckles, or overturning, when the property lifts off its foundation.

Identifying Home Foundation Problems:

There are many signs that can indicate your home may have foundation problems. As a homeowner, it’s incredibly important to closely monitor all cracks in your home, especially horizontal cracks. Measure any cracks you see in the interior and exterior of the property, and also examine your basement crawl space if your property has one.

Aside from cracks, other indicators of foundation damage or deterioration are sloping floors, doors and windows that are hard to open or that stick, your patio pulling away from the exterior structure, wallpaper separating from the walls, or gaps in kitchen cabinets.

These can all be signs that the soil beneath your home is expanding (which will push on the foundation) or shrinking (which will shift the foundation), thus affecting the structural integrity of your property.

When it comes to foundation repair, a foundation contractor will suggest installing specialized materials to strengthen and support the property. When done correctly, and when foundation problems are diagnosed early on, these repairs will create permanent solutions.

Foundation repairs can include a variety of solutions, from adding proper support columns under the home and replacing weakened joists, girders and posts.

Determining whether your home needs seismic retrofitting or foundation repair depends on how early foundation problems have been identified and diagnosed. Foundation problems – when detected quickly – will result in less expensive and less time-consuming repairs.

Most structural problems are the result of homes that were built before modern reinforcements were available, sub-par construction, or on land with poorly compacted soil.

At Julian Construction, we’ll help you find the best solution for your foundation problems. First, we’ll conduct a (free) inclusive home inspection, followed by a detailed consultation, and at the end of our discussion we’ll provide you with a quote for repair.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors, earthquake retrofitting, foundation repair and foundation replacement. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 30,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

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