The most iconic homes in Los Angeles are built on hillsides and their landscapes are breathtaking. Because of Los Angeles’s mountainous nature, there are over 200,000 homes in Los Angeles that are built on hills or some kind of slope. Inspite of the beautiful landscapes that these hillside homes have, they tend to be the most vulnerable to damage in the event of an earthquake. Hillside homes built before 2000 are considered to be very vulnerable to earthquake damage and therefore homeowners are advised to retrofit their hillside homes.
Ways of Preventing Earthquake Damage To Hillside Homes
Retaining Wall Installation
Retaining walls are structures that are built to withhold earth. A retaining wall will prevent soil from sliding down, not only during an earthquake but prevent gradual sliding too. A good contractor should be able to build a strong retaining wall using timber, stones, concrete or blocks which can hold the soil around a house without sliding down during an earthquake.
Soil erosion weakens the structural integrity of your hillside home. There are a number of ways in which you can prevent soil erosion on your hillside property. Planting trees and grass around your property will hold the soil together and prevent soil erosion. Building wood or stone terraces will help to prevent soil erosion too.
A caisson foundation is a foundation that is built by pouring concrete in deep drilled holes with some steel reinforcements. They are effective in resisting earthquake damage because the run deep into the ground. Caisson foundations can easily hold the weight of the house and there are less vibrations going up to the house.
Concrete Slab Reinforcement
Concrete is very strong in compression but extremely weak in tension, steel is used to compensate for that weakness. Concrete is a brittle material that will not usually withstand a strong earthquake, therefore reinforcing it with steel is usually the best option.
Related: Caissons and Grade Beams
Contact a Professional
To have your hillside home retrofitted, contact a professional hillside retrofit contractor. Contact California foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.