Solutions To Seismic Safety
A number of solutions can be ideal for houses susceptible to earthquakes, especially if they are located in hillside areas. A combination of earthquake retrofitting solutions including mudsill bolting, plywood shear bracing, and Simpson mudsill plates might be ideal for houses located in earthquake danger zones.
Foundation bolting involves adding bolts between the concrete home foundation and the wooden framing of the house. This typically consists of adding bolts through the sill, the piece of wood that lies on top of the foundation. Foundation bolting is ideal for houses that have weakened or spaced out bolts or which do not have bolts in the first place. Bolt strength depends on placement and installation of bolts, taking into consideration factors such as foundation condition and bolt load stress. If your house is not bolted to the slab, it will be susceptible to earthquakes. This is a big issue for Los Angeles homeowners and houses in areas prone to earthquakes.
Related: Benefits of Foundation Bolting
Types of Bolts
The two types of bolts typically used for foundation bolting are expansion bolts and epoxy-set bolts. Also known as mechanical foundation anchor bolts, expansion foundation bolts are the basic bolt type used in earthquake retrofitting. Since expansion foundation bolts need to be strengthened by concrete to work, they tend to be used in houses with newer foundation. On the other hand, epoxy-set foundation bolts are ideal for older homes that have weaker concrete. They are also ideal for powerful earthquakes that can cause the house to uplift. These types of anchors tend to be longer so that they can be inserted deeper, which is important if there is an additional base frame.
Related: Property Retrofitting
Cripple Wall Bracing
The main source of earthquake failure is cripple wall collapse. Cripple walls refer to the short wood-framed walls that can be found in the crawl space sub-area. They can run from several inches to several feet in length and often collapse as a result of the main floor dropping. To keep the cripple wall from collapsing during an earthquake, it needs to be stiffened or braced. You can brace the wall by adding structural grade plywood to the wall frame to stiffen the wall. For ideal seismic protection, all sides of the house need to be braced with plywood. However, it is unnecessary to over-brace the house.
Related: How will i know if i need retrofitting ?
Some houses will also need additional brackets to anchor the shear walls. Foundation holdown brackets are designed to resist the wall from lifting or rolling in the wake of an earthquake. Installation of these brackets is typically done with deeper set bolts to provide better resistance. Lastly, not all house have cripple walls, so other solutions need to be explored. Simpson Strong-Tie Retrofit Connectors can be connected between the mudsill and rim joist. Similarly, Angle Iron Struts can be used to connect the floor joists to the foundation. All these solutions are designed to provide an anchor to the house.
Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner and have concerns about the integrity of your home’s foundation.
Call California Foundation Works at 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
How Your House Can Benefit From Foundation Bolting
The structural integrity of your home depends on a strong foundation. Houses in Los Angeles and surrounding cities fall susceptible to a number of natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, mudslides, and flooding. That’s why it’s essential for Los Angeles homeowners to protect the security of their home with proper foundation bolting. With fortified foundation bolting, earthquakes don’t have to spell disaster.
How Does Foundation Bolting Work?
If your home isn’t adequately secured, earthquakes can wreak havoc on your house. The structure of your home needs to be bolted to the foundation to prevent serious structural damage. Earthquakes can destroy houses by sliding homes off of the foundation and causing walls to buckle and collapse. In severe cases, earthquakes can even cause houses to lift off the foundation entirely.
Along with cripple wall bracing, foundation bolting is essential to securing the structure of your home in the wake of natural disasters. Foundation bolting will both fortify your house against the threat of earthquake damage and leave the overall house structure more secured for the future. Homeowners need to think long-term when it comes to protecting their property value.
How Do I Know If My Home Needs Bolting?
If you live in the greater Los Angeles, chances are your home can significantly benefit from foundation bolting and earthquake retrofitting. New homeowners are likely unaware of the security of their house structure. Additionally, if your home has yet to experience a powerful earthquake you might not be aware of what it can withstand. That’s where expert help can be beneficial.
Our trained contractors can come to your home to evaluate the security of its structure. The last thing you want to be is unprepared in the wake of a major earthquake. Our Foundation inspectors will take images of your house’s structure in order to evaluate the foundation situation. House bolting specifics depend on a number of factors such as existing issues, how the house was built, and possible solutions for fortification. Don’t hesitate to act if your home is built in an area prone to earthquakes. Contact our professional foundation inspector today to evaluate the security of your home.
Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner and haven’t yet had your foundation inspected.
Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
Why Foundation Is Damaged?
Foundation damage is a serious and costly problem for homeowners all over the country but it does affect certain regions the most. Unlike other regions, most of the Los Angeles neighborhoods are susceptible to foundation damage because of a combination of factors such as the poor drainage and types of expansive soil. Los Angeles Homeowners should get foundation inspections to prevent any underlying problems from getting worse.
Los Angeles has been in a drought for a couple of years until recently when it received massive rain, and this is problematic for many house foundations in Los Angeles. During the drought, the clay soil around the house foundations lost most of their moisture hence the soil shrank and then after receiving rain the soil expands, therefore, pushing against the foundation and eventually cracking it. Foundation inspections will prevent this problem from getting worse once it’s detected early.
Tremors and Earthquakes
Most of Los Angeles residents are aware of the San Andreas fault running below their house foundation but they forget about the hundreds of low-intensity tremors and earthquakes that this area experiences on a daily basis. As a homeowner, you might not be able to see or notice any damage from these tremors and earthquakes but your foundation will be gradually damaged over time if certain precautions won’t be made to maintain it properly.
The type of soil that a house is built on is very important because clay soils which can also be referred to as expansive soils because of their nature to expand and then shrink in the year cycle. This tendency to expand and shrink is what causes damage to the foundation by pushing against it or shrinking and leaving spaces around the foundation which causes it to settle.
Related : Types of House Foundations
Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner and haven’t yet had your foundation inspected.
Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
Landscaping Can Cause Trouble
Everybody wants to have an inviting home with beautiful curb appeal, but in the process of doing that you might end up damaging your foundation. Careful consideration has to be taken when it comes to landscaping in regards to foundation. However there are three main ways in which landscaping affects your foundation negatively.
Trees and Shrubs Too Close To Your Foundation
Plants are almost always an essential addition to your home when it comes to improving its curb appeal. Choosing the wrong kinds of plants or planting them too close to your foundation can be problematic hence the need to carefully choose the location and type of plant. Plants that have roots that grow horizontally instead of vertically will have their roots drying up all the moisture that surrounds the foundation and in some instances even penetrate the foundation walls, therefore, causing damage.
Having a well-functioning drainage system should be a priority whenever you think of improving your landscape. In the efforts of making the exterior of a home beautiful, homeowners tend to forget about the drainage system and this is bound to damage the foundation. Plant beds should slope away from the foundation and as a rule of thumb, water should always flow away from the house not towards it.
Related : Foundation Damage Caused by Trees
Not Watering Plants Frequently
The plants and trees that are closest to your foundation need to be sufficiently watered. They need a steady supply of water to encourage the vertical growth of roots. In order to retain soil moisture, the soil needs to be well mulched so that any foundation problems are prevented.
Contact a professional foundation contractor if you suspect that your foundation is getting affected by landscaping.
Call California Foundation Works on to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
Which One Fits Your House?
The type of foundation each house is built on mostly depends on the soil type of the house construction site and the type of climate in that area also affects what type of foundation the house will have. Some types of house foundations will not do very well in wet weather or cold weather hence the need to consult an engineer before deciding on which foundation s best for you. There are three main types of house foundations, raised foundations with crawl space, concrete slab foundations and basement foundations, and each one of them is suited to particular conditions.
Related : Do You Need A Crawlspace Encapsulation ?
Raised Foundation With Crawl Space
Crawlspace foundations are also known as raised foundations and are one of the best foundation types that a house can be built on. Crawlspace foundations are foundations that are raised from the ground by at least 18 inches using piers and beams or the stem wall. Crawlspace foundations are usually a common site in damp areas or areas that easily flood to prevent water damage to the structure and to also prevent infestation from rodents that thrive in damp areas. Crawlspace foundations have certain advantages such as being less costly than basement foundations, easier to maintain plumbing, heating and air conditioning because of the accessible space in the crawlspace.
Concrete Slab Foundation
A slab foundation is a type of foundation that is poured directly on the construction site. A concrete slab foundation is a thick flat slab that is reinforced with steel bars and wire mesh, and the slab is poured on crushed gravel which levels the site. Concrete slab foundations are suitable for warm climates because cold weather is likely to crack it.
Related : 6 Common Causes of Foundation Damage
A basement foundation is a type of foundation with a high foundation wall and then a slab at the base. Basement foundations can either be at room height where people are able to walk and stand upright just like regular rooms or it can be a partial basement. The walls and slab are properly reinforced and also waterproofed to prevent any water or property damage in the basement. Unlike other types of foundations, basement foundations can be turned into living spaces or for storage.
Related : Slab Crack Repair
Contact a professional foundation contractor for any foundation repair or concerns regarding foundations.
Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
What To Consider
There are many reasons as to why you might want to relocate your garage to a different location around your yard, maybe to prevent the garage from obstructing the view or just wanting to attach it to the house. However, there are certain things you need to put into consideration before considering garage location.
One of the most important considerations you need to make when deciding on garage relocation is the access to the garage after it’s relocated. You’ll need a paved driveway and the size of the garage should dictate the width of the driveway. If it’s a two car garage then the width should be between 20 to 25 ft unlike 14 ft for a single car garage. Either concrete, asphalt or paving bricks can be used if you want a durable driveway.
Different cities have different code requirements and not adhering to those requirements might subject you to penalties. Once you know where you want to relocate your garage to, its time to go through the city codes to see what restrictions you have in moving that garage. The garage restrictions usually focus on the garage size, height, proximity of garage to other properties and the driveway construction such as the materials used to construct it or it’s size.
Related : Garage Conversion (ADU) Los Angeles
Contact a professional garage relocation contractor who can also install a driveway and understands the garage relocation code requirements of your city.
Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free garage relocation inspection and estimate.
It’s time to call a professional if your chimney is leaning away or over your house or if it just doesn’t seem to be in it’s place because it’s always a dangerous situation. A leaning chimney could mean foundation damage and it could end up either crashing over your house, cars or other properties that are next to your house. The most common reasons why a chimney might be leaning include poor soils and poor footing.
Certain soil types are not very good at bearing the weight of the chimney hence they might cause problems. Clay soils which are also referred to as expansive soils because of their tendency to expand when exposed to water and contract in the absence of water. So the soil will expand and contract depending on the moisture level therefore causing movements which are likely to tilt the chimney.
Another common reason why you might have a leaning chimney is because of poor footing or the lack of it. If the footing is exposed to a lot of water, it will eventually deteriorate and cause the chimney to lean. The chimney is also likely to lean when the footing is too shallow or small that it can’t hold the weight of the chimney. And the chimney will at some point start to lean if it was built without any footing during construction.
Related: We Help Solving Foundation Problems
It’s advisable to call a professional the moment you notice the early signs of your chimney tilting away from your house or leaning chimney over your house because this is not something that you can repair by yourself. When the leaning or damage is too severe the chimney will need to be rebuilt and if the leaning chimney is not too bad, then underpinning pads can be used to repair the chimney and provide additional support to the chimney and footing area to support the load and strengthen that section.
Related : Chimney Rebuilding
Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a chimney inspection and estimate.
Previous earthquakes in the Los Angeles area have proved to be very devastating to the residents of Los Angeles. Be it the need to prevent the Loss of life or property, Los Angeles residents are preparing for the next earthquake which is also deemed the big one by getting their properties retrofitted. Of all the buildings, softy story buildings are extremely vulnerable to earthquake damage because of the large unreinforced openings on their ground floors. Even though you expect the cost of softy story retrofit to be similar, certain factors will affect how much extra or less you will have to pay to get your soft story building retrofitted.
Soft story buildings come in different sizes and are used for different purposes such residential or commercial use. Both commercial and residential soft story buildings will either accommodate a single unit or multi units hence the cost of soft story retrofit for these two will differ because the multi unit soft story building is likely to have more openings on the ground floor such as garages to match the number of units.
Engineer and Contractor Used
The cost of soft story retrofit is also highly dependent on the engineer and contractor you choose to hire to help you retrofit your property. Different engineers will provide different engineering procedures and solutions hence the cost soft of story retrofit will be different. Contractors will also offer different prices to retrofit your building using the same procedures hence the need to carefully evaluate bids and the quality of work by each contractor.
Hillside Soft Story Buildings
Unreinforced soft story buildings are vulnerable to earthquakes but soft story buildings built on hillsides are even more vulnerable to earthquakes because of the steep slopes. In order to adequately retrofit soft story buildings on hillsides, additional anchoring is required hence the extra cost of soft story retrofit. So the cost of soft story retrofit on a hillside building will also depend whether you just want to comply with the law requiring soft story building to be retrofitted or you want to do everything you can to protect your soft story building against damage.
Related : Is Your Hillside Home Retrofitted ?
Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free soft story retrofit inspection and estimate.
Earthquakes can either be low intensity earthquakes or high intensity earthquakes which might claim lives and cause damage to properties, hence the need to have your property retrofitted for earthquakes.
Having a seismic retrofit for your property will reinforce your property’s structure and make it less susceptible to earthquake damage. Unlike other types of retrofits, the cost of seismic retrofit is not standard because it’s dependent on a number of factors such as location of the property and age of the property which in turn determine what kind of methods will be used to strengthen the property. Some of these methods include :
Cripple Wall Bracing
A cripple wall is a wall that is less than a full story height and is usually placed between the first floor and the foundation because that is the weakest part of most old buildings. During an earthquake, the area between the foundation and the first floor is usually the first to collapse so by having a cripple wall in that area, you will drastically reduce the amount of damage done to a building during an earthquake.
Related : Property Retrofitting
Foundation bolting is yet another method in which you can retrofit your property against earthquake damage. Foundation bolting is the process which prevents the up and down movements of your property during an earthquake as it might displace an unbolted property off it’s foundation. To bolt a building to it’s foundation, either expansion anchor bolts or sill plates are used. Expansion anchor bolts are used to directly attach the building to the foundation while the sill plates are used to attach the foundation and building on the sides if the space doesn’t allow direct bolting.
Wood blocking is another way of strengthening your property against earthquakes without adding much to the cost of seismic retrofit. Wood blocking involves the addition of pieces of wood in between two studs in order to strengthen them. This is an easy method and yet it’s also very efficient in preventing the wooden studs from collapsing during an earthquake.
Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free seismic retrofit inspection and estimate.
‘Whether you just want your yard to look impressive to your neighbors and visitors or you are planning to sell your property, Having some concrete work done on your yard to improve the curb appeal is necessary. This is especially important if it is a commercial property or you are planning to sell your house in the near future because people will usually make a decision to buy the property or to buy from the property when they are attracted to the exterior of the property. There are a number of ways in which concrete can increase your yard’s curb appeal.
A driveway is the gateway to your property hence it makes the first impression to your visitors the moment they start approaching your property. There are many ways in which concrete can increase your yard’s curb appeal and having concrete on your driveway to increase your yards curb appeal such as stamping and staining concrete, overlaying concrete or by using segmental concrete pavers. A stamped concrete driveway is a driveway with patterned concrete or textured concrete in the shapes of bricks, stones or tiles while as stained concrete is concrete that is stained with any preferred color such as red, brown or black to suit whatever color scheme of your preference. A driveway concrete overlay is a cheap and faster alternative to completely replacing your worn out driveway by simply applying a thin layer on top of it. Segmental pavers are pieces of masonry made from compacted concrete which are installed in a particular pattern on your driveway. All of the mentioned suggestions will increase your yard’s curb appeal if they are installed by a professional driveway contractor.
Concrete Retaining Walls
Concrete retaining wall construction is one of the most overlooked ways in which concrete concrete can increase your yard’s curb appeal. Most homeowners and business owners who have sloped yards believe that there is little or nothing they can do to improve the curb appeal of their yards because of things such as soil erosion or water runoff that tends to affect the curb appeal of your yard negatively. Adding a concrete retaining wall to your yard comes with both decorative benefits and preventive benefits. You can get your concrete retaining wall in different styles and colors and it will also prevent soils erosion and water runoff which will allow vegetation such as flowers, grass or bushes to grow without any difficulty.
Concrete Landscaping Borders
Part of what sets a beautiful landscape apart from a not so beautiful landscape are clean lines which border different parts of your yard and make the yard seem kept even with minimal landscaping work. Concrete landscaping borders are the perfect way of having truly incredible landscaping borders because Concrete Landscaping borders can be designed in a variety of ways both shapewise and colorwise. Concrete can increase your yard’s curb appeal if it is professionally done.
Contact a professional concrete contractor if you want to achieve excellent results in installing either a concrete driveway, concrete retaining wall or concrete landscaping borders. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free concrete inspection and estimate.
The city of Los Angeles has sidewalks that have deteriorated to an extent where most of them are a danger to the residents. In order to tackle this problem, the city of Los Angeles has introduced the city sidewalk repair program by the name Safe Sidewalks LA. Members of the community can participate in the program either through the rebate program, the access request program or by reporting a damaged sidewalk.
Access Request Program
The access request program is part of the Safe Sidewalks LA program that makes repairs that are requested by people with a mobility disability who encounter physical barriers such as damaged or missing curb ramps or broken sidewalks. Basically it’s a program where people with any mobility disability can report barriers in the public right of way.
Related : Driveway Drainage Issues After Rain ?
The rebate program is a program for property owners who would like to repair their own sidewalk. This program caters to both residential and commercial property owners by offering a rebate of up to $2000 for residential property owners and $4000 for commercial property owners. It’s a first come first serve basis program and you have to qualify for the program. Once you apply, your request will be reviewed to make sure that you are eligible and that you have provided all the necessary documentation and then you will receive a rebate offer if you qualify.
Report A Sidewalk
Another way you can participate in the program is by reporting a damaged sidewalk in your community, so even if you don’t qualify for the Safe Sidewalks LA Program you can still participate in this manner. The official Safe Sidewalks LA program has a section where you can report the damaged sidewalk.
You need to hire a licensed contractor in order to participate in the rebate program of the Safe Sidewalks LA program. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free sidewalk inspection and estimate.