Garages are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage, and especially if there is living space above the garage. The narrow walls on either side of the garage opening must be able to support the seismic load that is transferred from the roof and additional living space above the garage (if one exists) into the foundation below. In order for these narrow walls to support this load, they must be properly braced. Garage Door Bracing= is usually done by using steel bracing or specially detailed plywood panels as recommended by a registered professional engineer.
An unreinforced garage with living space above is another possibly dangerous problem. That big garage door opening needs to be reinforced either by a steel frame or by strengthening the walls on either side or it can collapse in an earthquake like a house of cards, along with the living space on top.
California Foundation Works offers a Free* inspection with no obligation to you, We are here to help you make sure, that your living space above the garage is seismically safe and there is no hidden danger that might jeopardize you or your loved ones. They can be contacted by phone at (323) 418-2239, or via their website, www.CaliforniaFoundationWorks.com.