home retrofit

Earthquake Retrofitting in the Summer

We all want our homes to be in their healthiest condition so that we can enjoy them with our families for many decades to come while protecting our property value. Fortunately, the best time for home repair work is upon us as we enter into the warm months.

When it comes to necessary earthquake retrofit projects, the summer provides the ideal opportunity for efficiently and quickly equipping your home with everything it needs to survive the unpredictable greater Los Angeles area earthquakes and extreme weather.

Related: Earthquake Retrofit Overview 

The Need for Seismic Retrofits

Have the time to brush up on your foundation knowledge?

Los Angeles homeowners are no strangers to both beautiful and extreme weather, with the latter putting earthquake retrofits on many homeowners’ radars. Earthquake retrofits are necessary home projects designed to secure homes during seismic activity. Thousands of soft story structures in Los Angeles alone have been identified as at-risk buildings and have received mandatory orders to comply in the mail specifying that retrofits must be completed within a specific timeline.

earthquake retrofit solution

However, many homeowners also wish to undertake seismic retrofit projects with a team of contractors to ensure for both resident safety and protected property value.

The importance of retrofits cannot be stressed enough, particularly for buildings that have existing vulnerabilities. Vulnerable buildings include those with a weakened ground floor that cannot support the structure of the upper floors during seismic activity, often because of large ground floor windows or open parking spaces.

Older buildings and wood-framed buildings run a higher risk of being structurally unsound, as well as buildings that have dated safety codes. Since a home is only as strong as its weakest point, it is necessary to fully secure the building and meet all current construction and safety standards to mitigate the chance for severe structural damage and even collapse. Because earthquakes are unpredictable, it is important to have this process completed as soon as possible.

Advantages of Summer Work

Putting off necessary home repair work can lead to pre-existing issues getting worse, but delaying seismic retrofit work can severely jeopardize the safety of both the home and its residents.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have to endure months of construction and hassle. Teaming up with the right contracting team can ensure that your earthquake retrofit is completed both quickly and efficiently to leave your home safeguarded for whenever disaster strikes.
The summer is undoubtedly the best time of year for construction work such as seismic retrofits. Due to the long days and short nights, contractors can fit in many extra hours that will prevent pesky delays.

Another enormous bonus of the summer is the reduction in rainy days, which can halt work and lead to project extensions. The warm, agreeable, predictable weather overall creates the perfect atmosphere for prompt and precise work.
Reliable work is favored for many reasons, namely a quick return back to normalcy for the homeowners.

However, there are also financial benefits to reap from summer construction. Shorter project work times lead to lower costs, which will help with financing the earthquake retrofit. It also means that your home will be fortified in less time, increasing the safety of the residents. This peace of mind is important since earthquakes are unpredictable. Lastly, since many soft-story retrofits are mandatory, acting now will guarantee lower market costs.

Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

Crawl space repair

Earthquake Retrofit Process

Understandably, many homeowners panic when they discover a seismic retrofit is needed. However, the process is not nearly as daunting as one might fear. The right team of contractors will be able to provide full guidance throughout each step of the process so that the homeowner will be fully informed about what is occurring in their home, as well as all project progress. The personalized approach will also ensure that the construction is well within individual budgets.

The goal of the retrofit process is to prevent the structure from shifting, sliding, or warping when seismic activity strikes. The best solution for your particular home will depend on individual factors, as well as the extent of current damage and weakened areas. Cripple wall bracing, foundation bolting, and attaching floors to the braced cripple walls are all trusted and durable solutions for earthquake retrofitting.

Foundation bolting prevents the building from sliding off the property by securing it to the ground. Meanwhile, the cripple wall bracing bolsters the building to avoid collapse. Signs that these processes are needed include cracks in the walls, unusually wide cracks, clustered cracks, foundation crumbling, water invasion, warped walls, slanted floors, crooked chimneys, and doors and windows that have trouble opening or closing. If you have any concerns about the structural safety of your home, do not hesitate to contact a contractor as soon as possible.

Why Us?

At California Foundation Works, it is our mission to keep greater Los Angeles area homeowners safe by protecting one household at a time. Seismic retrofits are necessary to ensure a protected home in the face of unpredictable weather. Though home repair projects might seem overwhelming at first, we are here to guide you through every step of the process as we collaborate on constructing your dream home. Ready to get started?    

Related: Foundation Solutions

Is your greater Los Angeles area home in need of an earthquake retrofit?

Act now to receive the best savings and quickest construction time!

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* EARTHQUAKE RETROFIT INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

Security Question:

floor leveling

Floor Leveling Inspection Guide

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us housebound, and one way to try and alleviate stress is to stay busy. Fortunately, the extra time at home creates the ideal opportunity for home inspections. By taking the time to inspect your property, you can protect one of your greatest investments and insure for the overall health of your structure.

Today we’re going to explore how to inspect your home to ensure that there are no flaws with the floor leveling.

Related: Foundation Leveling Process

Foundation Damage Roots

When homeowners find they have floors that sink or are uneven, these problems are often caused by foundation issues that have likely not been detected.

Foundation damage causes a chain reaction of problems throughout the home, from warped floors to cracked walls to a shifting structure.

But let’s back up for a moment. How does foundation damage occur in the first place?

floor leveling

While a degree of settlement is common as time passes, more serious foundation problems often have a clear culprit. Foundation damage can arise through continual elemental wear and tear or due to an initial construction failure, but one of the biggest factors behind foundation damage is the soil the house sits upon.

Expansive soil is often tied with foundation damage and uneven floors. Excess moisture causes soil to expand, while dry periods cause it to contract. This continual fluctuation can lead to foundation movement and cracks due to continual ground shifting. In turn, this can lead to a host of foundation damage effects both inside and outside of the home.

Similar issues will also occur if the soil was not properly backfilled or if tree roots disrupt the soil. Overall, soil issues are a leading cause of foundation damage and should be taken seriously by homeowners.

Search for the Signs

Chances are you have some extra time around the home these days, which means there is no better opportunity to spot the signs that your home needs floor leveling. Preventative work is the most cost-effective way to protect your home, and detecting problems in their earliest stages will always lead to cheaper repairs.

Fortunately, signs of floor leveling problems are often easy to find. We walk on our floors every day, so we are more sensitive to noticing slopes, cracks, loud floors, warped boards, and other unusual changes. However, since floor leveling problems are often indicative of foundation issues, you should also search your house for other foundation damage warning signs.

Signs to be on the lookout for include cracks in both the exterior or interior walls. Pay particular attention to cracks that are unusually wide, long, or clustered closely together. In addition to slanting floorboards, warped walls and ceilings are also a sign that something is amiss. Check for doors and windows that have difficulty opening and closing, and if your home has a chimney, see if it is slanted.

You can also examine your home for signs of water intrusion, which can be spotted due to secondary issues such as insect or pest infestation or mold, mildew, bacteria, or fungus growth. The latter signs can often be detected by strong, musty odors, as well as breathing difficulties. You can also check crawl spaces for damp walls and floors.

Exploring Leveling Solutions

Nobody wants to find problems with their foundation, but if you do, we’re here to help. At California Foundation Works, we offer custom solutions to meet the individual needs of each of our clients. This means that every repair project is unique, though there are certain steps that many foundation repair projects follow.

Floor and subfloor leveling services are likely needed in cases when foundation damage has affected the levelness of the flooring. Additional services include concrete leveling or basement repair services depending on the degree of the damage. Fortunately, floor leveling projects are more affordable than you might think.

Consider any work a necessary investment in the future of your building and the safety of its residents. Foundation repair services are needed to permanently restore the integrity of the building and resolve any damage to guarantee that the property value of the building remains protected. Though some floor leveling solutions may take up to several weeks, floor leveling is considered a non-invasive procedure.

However, you should never attempt to perform a floor leveling project on your own, as it requires professional expertise.

Related: Foundation Underpinning Retrofit

door crack

Floor Leveling Process

Floor leveling returns the home to a level position, providing a restorative facelift and structural security boost.

Floor leveling services are aimed to return the home to its original levelness, as well as strengthen the structure to guard it against damage in the future.

One trusted form of foundation leveling known as pier and beam foundation involves using a jack or lift for leveling. 

In a process called shoring, the home is very carefully raised so that beams or jacks can be attached underneath. Internal damage is minimized by lifting the jacks with extreme care and precision to protect the interior of the home.

Another way to attend to leveling issues is to excavate weakened areas of the home and install concrete or steel pilings along with concrete piers. Repairs can be performed on all types of foundation, including basement foundation, slab foundation, and pier and beam foundation.

If foundation damage is causing your floors to warp, then you must contact a professional contractor as soon as possible. Weakened homes that don’t receive necessary repair solutions will continue to warp, crack, and shift, eventually threatening the safety of residents and the longevity of the structure.

Homeowners who have elevated homes, especially located on hillsides, should be particularly wary of shifting structures due to mudslides, earthquakes, and other natural threats.

Have you noticed warped floors? Are there cracks around your home? Concerned about your home’s foundation?

The last thing anyone needs at this moment is more problems to contend with. Take the time to perform a routine home inspection so that you can catch issues before they have the opportunity to worsen.

Here at California Foundation Works, our team of expertly trained contractors is available around the clock to offer full home repairs and renovations. It is our goal to keep greater Los Angeles area residents safe by fortifying one home at a time.

Call today to book your free home inspection!

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FLOOR LEVELING INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

Security Question:

foundation crack

How to Inspect Your Home Foundation

As people do their part to stay safe and curb the spread of COVID-19, the issue arises as to what to do with all of the free time many are left with. One thing you can do to both occupy your time in the present and protect your assets for the future is to perform a home inspection and ensure that all areas of your home are operating problem-free.

It may be hard to stay positive during such trying times, but by focusing on what you can do at home, you can help take your mind off the stress. By using the quarantine time to inspect your home and tend to repairs, you can also help to regain an element of control over your life and your assets.

Related: Foundation Maintenance Guide

Understanding Foundation Health

Have the time to brush up on your foundation knowledge?

Foundations can become damaged over time with persistent elemental wear and tear, through design flaws, or due to natural settlement. While all homes settle to an extent as time passes, the degree of settlement depends greatly on the soil. Soil expands during periods of excess rainfall and contracts during drier months, which can create an unstable base for your home. This constant flux in pressure can lead to an unstable foundation and cause cracking.

foundation crack

This can cause a myriad of problems throughout the home, in addition to structural instability. Though it initially may not seem like the ideal time to book home repairs, it’s in the homeowner’s best interest to rectify foundation issues as soon as they are spotted.

Foundation damage will worsen over time, which can cause more expensive repairs and open the possibility of requiring expensive and invasive foundation replacement. Avoid future stress by spotting foundation damage warning signs today and taking control of the situation while you have some extra time on your hands.

Search for Signs with Spare Time

Greater Los Angeles area residents are in a fortunate position when it comes to home health, as the recent rainy period can help to reveal potential foundation damage. Soggy or misshapen floorboards, damp crawl spaces, and visible liquid can all indicate water intrusion and a potential breach in the foundation integrity.

Cracks are one of the most obvious indicators of potential damage and can also contribute to water intrusion. Inspect your home for cracks that are unusually wide, closely clustered together, or horizontal. Search around door frames, crawl spaces, and fireplaces for signs of damage. Warped floorboards, walls, ceilings, and an overall slanted house appearance are also clear signs that the foundation might be compromised.

To check if your home is warping due to an unstable foundation, verify if your windows and doors can open and close with ease. Doors and windows that stick can be yet another indicator of potential foundation damage due to shifting structure.

At Home Yard Inspections

If your driveway, patio, walkway, or other concrete fixture is beginning to show its age, then you are faced with two main options. You can demolish and remove the concrete installation and find a new way to occupy the area, or you can resurface the concrete to return it to its original appearance.

Concrete resurfacing provides new life for stained, cracked, discolored, and chipped concrete to create a cost-effective way to resolve aging concrete.

Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

door crack

Exploring Solutions

So you’ve noticed some potential problems. What’s next?

At California Foundation Works, we offer complimentary foundation inspections so that we can provide a thorough home evaluation and propose potential solutions to meet your home’s unique needs.

The great news is that the majority of cases of foundation damage can be rectified with stabilizing foundation solutions.

Each repair solution will be customized to meet your unique needs, so every repair project operates differently depending on individual variables. In some cases, this process involves pier and beam reconstruction and preventative support installation. Pier and beam stabilization allows the home to be filled with supportive piers connected to concrete beams that are reinforced with steel.

Other solutions include concrete slab stabilization, floor leveling, and installing a supportive sister foundation. Book your free foundation inspection today so that we can get started on discovering your home’s unique solution.

Focus on What You Can Fix

Here at California Foundation Works, we are happy to offer services that can assist with creating financial stability for your future. Owning a house is one of the most significant investments you can make in a lifetime, and most of our services are still operational despite the uncertain times to offer construction work to keep your family safe and happy and your future assets protected.

There may be a lot that is out of our control at the moment, but fortunately, there are steps you can take from your home to ensure that it is protected and can safely house your loved ones for many years to come.

Why Choose Us?

Our team at California Foundation Works is dedicated to bringing your home repairs, renovations, and projects to fruition while maintaining all safety protocols and standards. It is our mission to ensure the safety of your family, and we’re achieving our goal one house at a time.   

Related: Sister Foundation Solution

Interested in booking a complimentary foundation inspection or other home services? Call today!

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

Security Question:

soft story retrofitting in La

Soft Story Retrofit Spring Season

Homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area have likely heard some buzz about soft story retrofits, but today we’ll explore the full scope of the process.

In Los Angeles county alone thousands of buildings have received mandatory retrofit ordinances mandating that they update or demolish their soft story structures.

While this process can seem daunting and overwhelming, breaking down what soft story structures are, exploring the retrofitting process, and discovering the best time to retrofit will allow the stress to be removed from this major, but necessary, building renovation project. Ready to get started?

Related: Soft Story Retrofit

Reasons Behind the Retrofit

If you’ve received a mandatory Order to Comply in the mail, then you’re already aware that your building has been identified as a soft story structure. And you’re not the only one.

Over 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles alone have been marked for being structurally unsound due to having a weakened ground floor that is structurally unable to support the floors above it in the event of seismic activity.

earthquake retrofitting

This is often the result of having large open areas on the ground floor, such as parking areas or excessively sized windows. While it certainly isn’t good news to be informed that your building requires a soft story retrofit, solid reasons are backing the process.

Because the structures of soft story buildings leave the buildings so vulnerable, there is a very high risk of structural damage and subsequent fatalities and even death when earthquakes strike soft story buildings.

A soft story regulation is therefore needed to ensure for area safety since when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if but when.

Breaking Down the Retrofit Timeline

Not only are soft story retrofits mandatory, but there is a finite amount of time in which your project must be completed. If you haven’t received an Order to Comply in the mail, you can always book a soft story inspection to evaluate the state of your structure.

Once you have received the Order to Comply, you will have 2 years to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans for the soft story retrofit, or plans to demolish the building. You must hold on to the letter, so be sure to keep it safe. After the letter is received, you have 3.5 years to get together all permits that are needed to commence either construction or demolition. The project must be completed within 7 years of receiving the Order to Comply.

Failure to follow the timeline could result in severe penalties for the building owner. Therefore, it is very important to stick to the timeline and ensure that all aspects of the soft story retrofit are completed in time.

When it comes to complying with soft story regulations, there is no time to delay. This is a mandatory process that needs to be completed as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

When is the Right Time to Retrofit?

Ready to get started on your retrofit? There are many benefits to getting your soft story retrofit completed during the spring and summer months. Most earthquake retrofits involve cripple wall bracing to hold the structure intact and foundation bolting to keep the building locked in place.

Spring and summer months create the ideal opportunity for completing this process due to the reliable and mild weather and extended daylight hours. The warm months provide ample time for soft story inspections so that a professional contractor can thoroughly investigate each aspect of your building.

Because so many buildings have received mandatory orders to comply, there is a high demand for the retrofitting process to be finalized. Workers can complete more work in the day during the warm months, allowing your soft story retrofit process to proceed without any hitches, such as rain delays.

Some soft story retrofits are more advanced than others depending on the degree of damage. Severe structural damage could lead to the existing concrete slab being removed and steel reinforcement structures being added to bolster the building before new concrete is poured. Only a soft story inspection will reveal the extent of the retrofitting process, so it’s paramount to provide ample time for the process to be completed.

Avoid the winter weather rain delays by planning your soft story retrofit for the mild, warm months. Working in the warm months also provides soil that is easier to work with, speeding up the process.

Related: Cost Of Soft Story Retrofit 

soft story

Soft Story Retrofit Benefits

Failure to comply with soft story regulations will not only result in penalties, but it will leave your building structurally compromised. Any event that involves the ground moving, no matter how seemingly minor, can lead to serious structural damage that could mean the end of your building.

From foundation cracks to warped walls and floors, earthquake damage is something you should avoid at all costs.

Getting started on your retrofitting process as soon as possible will decrease the overall project cost since the mandatory soft story retrofits are increasingly driving prices up as time progresses.
In addition to lower costs, you can also reap economic advantages, as completed soft story retrofits entitle building owners to significant savings.

Many insurance companies offer large premiums for completed soft story retrofits, while you can additionally lower certain building insurances.
You’ll also receive a competitive advantage by acting quickly, as your building will be removed from city inventory as early as possible, becoming exempt from future retrofit demands.

Lastly, with cost recovery programs available, homeowners can receive aid for complying with the soft story retrofit process.

Worried About Your Soft Story Retrofit Costs?

Call California Foundation Works Today For a FREE Project Estimate. Let’s Discover The Best Solution For Your Retrofit needs!

Contact Us At (323) 418-2239

soft story

Soft Story Retrofit Season

Gearing You Up for Soft Story Retrofit Season

Homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area have likely heard some buzz about soft story retrofits, but today we’ll explore the full scope of the process. Already thousands of buildings in Los Angeles County alone have received mandatory retrofit ordinances mandating that they update or demolish their soft story structures.

While this process can seem daunting and overwhelming, breaking down what soft story structures are, exploring the retrofitting process, and discovering the best time to retrofit will allow the stress to be removed from this major, but necessary, building renovation project. Ready to get started?

Related: Thousands of Soft Story Structures Still Need Retrofitting

Reasons Behind the Retrofit

If you’ve received a mandatory Order to Comply in the mail, then you’re already aware that your building has been identified as a soft story structure.

And you’re not the only one. Over 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles alone have been marked for being structurally unsound due to having a weakened ground floor that is structurally unable to support the floors above it in the event of seismic activity.

soft story retrofitting in La

This is often the result of having large open areas on the ground floor, such as parking areas or excessively sized windows. While it certainly isn’t good news to be informed that your building requires a soft story retrofit, solid reasons are backing the process.

Because the structures of soft story buildings leave the buildings so vulnerable, there is a very high risk of structural damage and subsequent fatalities and even death when earthquakes strike soft story buildings. A soft story regulation is therefore needed to ensure for area safety since when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if but when.

Breaking Down the Retrofit Timeline

Not only are soft story retrofits mandatory, but there is a finite amount of time in which your project must be completed. If you haven’t received an Order to Comply in the mail, you can always book a soft story inspection to evaluate the state of your structure.

Once you have received the Order to Comply, you will have 2 years to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans for the soft story retrofit, or plans to demolish the building. You must hold on to the letter, so be sure to keep it safe. After the letter is received, you have 3.5 years to get together all permits that are needed to commence either construction or demolition. The project must be completed within 7 years of receiving the Order to Comply.

Failure to follow the timeline could result in severe penalties for the building owner. Therefore, it is very important to stick to the timeline and ensure that all aspects of the soft story retrofit are completed in time. When it comes to complying with soft story regulations, there is no time to delay. This is a mandatory process that needs to be completed as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

When is the Right Time to Retrofit?

Ready to get started on your retrofit? There are many benefits to getting your soft story retrofit completed during the spring and summer months. Most earthquake retrofits involve cripple wall bracing to hold the structure intact and foundation bolting to keep the building locked in place.

Spring and summer months create the ideal opportunity for completing this process due to the reliable and mild weather and extended daylight hours. The warm months provide ample time for soft story inspections so that a professional contractor can thoroughly investigate each aspect of your building. Because so many buildings have received mandatory orders to comply, there is a high demand for the retrofitting process to be finalized.

Workers can complete more work in the day during the warm months, allowing your soft story retrofit process to proceed without any hitches, such as rain delays Some soft story retrofits are more advanced than others depending on the degree of damage. Severe structural damage could lead to the existing concrete slab being removed and steel reinforcement structures being added to bolster the building before new concrete is poured.

Only a soft story inspection will reveal the extent of the retrofitting process, so it’s paramount to provide ample time for the process to be completed. Avoid the winter weather rain delays by planning your soft story retrofit for the mild, warm months.

Working in the warm months also provides soil that is easier to work with, speeding up the process.

Soft Story Retrofit Benefits

Failure to comply with soft story regulations will not only result in penalties, but it will leave your building structurally compromised. Any event that involves the ground moving, no matter how seemingly minor, can lead to serious structural damage that could mean the end of your building.

From foundation cracks to warped walls and floors, earthquake damage is something you should avoid at all costs. Getting started on your retrofitting process as soon as possible will decrease the overall project cost since the mandatory soft story retrofits are increasingly driving prices up as time progresses.

In addition to lower costs, you can also reap economic advantages, as completed soft story retrofits entitle building owners to significant savings. Many insurance companies offer large premiums for completed soft story retrofits, while you can additionally lower certain building insurances.

You’ll also receive a competitive advantage by acting quickly, as your building will be removed from city inventory as early as possible, becoming exempt from future retrofit demands.

Lastly, with cost recovery programs available, homeowners can receive aid for complying with the soft story retrofit process.

Related: What Affects the Cost of Soft Story Retrofit?  

Soft story retrofit season is around the corner! Don’t wait to book your complimentary soft story inspection provided by California Foundation Works.

Southern California earthquakes are turbulent and unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to be left unprepared when the next one strikes.

Call to book your free home inspection so that we can examine your home, provide an estimate, and start to discuss the next steps in the soft story retrofit process.

With our complimentary inspection, you have nothing to lose by playing it safe! Take advantage of the warm weather, and get started on protecting your investment today.

Call California Foundation Works today to book your FREE* Soft Story Inspection

(323)418-2239

Ebb

Is Earthquake Retrofit Worth It?

Are you prepared for the next earthquake to hit? Don’t just answer quickly, take a moment to think about your response. While certain areas of your home might be fortified for seismic activity, your structure is overall only as strong as its weakest link. That means that any areas that have worn out over time or weren’t properly fortified in the first place could be threatening the security of your entire building.

With earthquakes threatening Los Angeles County residents at all times, the next big quake is just around the bend. But is seismic retrofitting worth the investment? Allow us to explore the different factors that go into determining if an earthquake retrofit is the best choice for your property, as well as available savings.

Related: Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

What is Earthquake Retrofitting?

Many Southern California residents are well aware of earthquake retrofitting requirements in their area, but allow us to elaborate on the process and its requirements. Earthquake retrofitting is performed to secure any vulnerable areas of buildings to lower the risk of damage and destruction in the event of seismic activity.

Typically this customizable process involves cripple wall bracing to keep the structure firmly intact and foundation bolting to hold the building securely in place. This dual process allows for complete structural support that greatly lowers the possibility of the building being damaged in the event of seismic activity. Because earthquakes are so prevalent in the greater Los Angeles area, many buildings are required by law to undergo retrofits to decrease the risk of injury, damage, and death during an earthquake.

earthquake

Do I Need an Earthquake Retrofit?

Thousands of homes across Los Angeles County and surrounding cities have been affected by laws mandating seismic retrofits on soft-story buildings. Buildings that are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes include structures built before 1979, wood-framed structures, hillside homes, and structures with large open spaces on the ground level, such as parking lots or oversized windows.

However, the truth is that structural vulnerabilities of any sort put a home at risk whether or not a mandatory retrofit order has been mailed. Since earthquakes are unpredictable, the longer a homeowner waits to secure their home, the greater the risk becomes for property damage and injury.

Additionally, the most cost effective way to deal with any home project is through preventative action. Verifying that your home is fully secured and getting any needed seismic retrofitting completed as soon as possible is ultimately the safest, smartest, and cheapest solution for homeowners.

What Happens If I Don’t Retrofit?

Simply put, there are no benefits of not having your home inspected for a seismic retrofit as soon as possible. Any situation that involves the ground moving, no matter how minor the quake, can cause damage to the home and its foundation.

That means that even small earthquakes can cause catastrophic financial damage for the average homeowner. With a very low percentage of California homeowners having earthquake damage insurance, failing to get a seismic retrofit could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If the foundation of the home becomes damaged do to insufficient seismic retrofitting, the entire structure can become compromised. Therefore, acting as soon as possible is the smartest choice a homeowner can make. Delaying a retrofit will only jeopardize your safety and investment, as non-reinforced homes will suffer during seismic activity. And with cost recovery programs for seismic retrofitting, it makes no sense to delay the earthquake retrofit process.

What is EBB?

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program was designed to assist California residents with the cost of their seismic retrofits to reduce earthquake damage in California. EBB assists homeowners with seismic retrofit costs by providing up to $3,000 to assist with retrofitting expenses for eligible homeowners. EBB aids with funds related to earthquake retrofit costs, namely brace and bolt services for crawl spaces in residential dwellings.

To become eligible for EBB, homes must meet Chapter A3 specifications. The specifications include that the home must contain wood framing and it must be located on a low slope or ground level. Homes constructed before 1979 have a higher chance of qualifying for EBB. All interested homeowners must apply for the program as soon as possible since seismic retrofit work cannot commence until EBB has been approved.

Related: How to Retrofit Your Home Against Earthquakes 

Earthquake Brace Bolt

How to Sign Up for EBB

If you’re interested in receiving earthquake retrofit savings, then it’s time to apply to EBB. Homeowners with qualifying homes can submit an application for review as long as they are located within EBB zip codes and have the home as a primary residence. Eligible houses can register one time per house, with approved applications for houses that have not received prior EBB funding being placed in a pool for random selection.

To determine the houses that receive grants, an electronic system is used. To keep the process clear, all candidates are notified of their progress by email and informed of their position at the start of the year. Since registration fills up fast, it’s highly encouraged that interested homeowners visit www.earthquakebracebolt.com as soon as possible to learn about program dates, vacancies, and more. Fortunately, the right contractor can guide you through the process to make sure that all EBB eligible homes can apply for compensation.

Feeling overwhelmed? Luckily we’re here to help. At California Foundation Works, we make it easy to obtain EBB savings by helping you register. It’s our goal to deliver your ideal services at the best price on the market, so we’re always available to search for deals and assist with budgeting. Don’t let the next big quake be the ruin of your home! Work with us to discover the best solutions for keeping your property safe, secure, and within your budget.

Related: Guide for Earthquake Brace and Bolt EBB 

At California Foundation Works, we strive to deliver excellence in all of our projects. From repairs to resurfacing, we take every precaution necessary to deliver top of the line services to fully address individual project needs.

We work within our clients’ budgets and time constraints to provide premium services that are tailor-made for our clients. Call today to explore the wide range of concrete resurfacing methods that will restore the surface of your concrete to its original condition!

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* home inspection!
(323) 418-2239

foundation replacement

Foundation Repair vs Replacement

Being a homeowner is one of the most significant investments a person can make in his or her lifetime. That’s why it’s paramount that your home remains in top condition.

Unfortunately, foundation issues can arise over the years and threaten the structural stability and subsequent property value of your building. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that vigilant homeowners content with foundation issues before they have the opportunity to worsen. Today we are going to explore how to recognize foundation damage and whether or not foundation repair or foundation replacement is the right solution for your structure.

Related: The Effects of Rain on Foundation and How To Prevent It

Causes of Foundation Damage

Unfortunately, some cases of foundation damage are the result of improper initial installation, but other situations can help indicate when you should be on the lookout for foundation damage warning signs.

Soil is one of the top culprits when it comes to foundation damage. Soil is very sensitive to weather and moisture changes and is constantly expanding and contracting along with changing precipitation, which can cause severe structural damage.

window crack repair

Foundation settlement occurs when the soil shrinks too much and cannot support the weight of the full structure, leading to serious stability problems.

Meanwhile, expansive soils can equally cause damage. Excess moisture in the soil can cause the walls of the building to buckle and bow as the soil beneath the home absorbs moisture and puts increased pressure on the foundation walls. Therefore weather and climate both play large roles in determining the health of your foundation.

How To Spot Foundation Damage

Before you decide what to do with your foundation, you need to identify a problem in the first place. To spot early signs of foundation damage, be sure to perform routine inspections both inside and around the perimeter of your home. Indicators of foundation damage include walls that are bowing, buckling, and sloped, and an overall sloped appearance to the home.

Large cracks, cracks clustered closely together, horizontal cracks, and unusually wide cracks are often indicators of potential foundation damage. Additionally, signs such as crumbling brick and water intrusion often point to foundation failure. Also, be on the lookout for windows and doors that have difficulty opening and closing.

A home is only as secure as its weakest point, which makes it paramount to spot and correct any foundation damage issues as early on as possible to keep the home and its occupants safe.

Considering Multiple Factors

Once you have spotted any signs of foundation damage, it’s crucial to contact a professional contractor immediately. Delaying receiving professional help will cause the damage to increase, ultimately causing more harm to your home and limiting your options.

When it comes to determining the right choice, factors such as causing the least amount of disruption and obtaining the best deal are important to consider. In many scenarios, as long as foundation damage is reported early on, repairs should suffice.

However, working on your home’s foundation should be a once in a lifetime ordeal. This means that to implement permanent solutions, in extreme cases of foundation damage, a replacement will be needed.

Foundation Replacement

Foundation replacement is by far the more disruptive solution and is almost always a costlier option. To completely replace the foundation, heavy equipment is used to entirely excavate the soil surrounding the home.

To do so, everything surrounding the home, such as porches, gardens, stairs, vegetation, and more, will have to be removed. After this is done, the house is lifted onto temporary support beams using a hydraulic jack so that the slab floor and foundation walls can be removed. Then, the new foundation is built and the home can be carefully lowered back into place, with the soil being replaced. In addition to costing more money and greatly disrupting the yard, foundation replacement also requires significantly more time than repair.

Related: When Should You Get a Foundation Repair?  

foundation repair west hills

Foundation Repair

On the other hand, foundation repair offers considerably less money, time, and disruption. Foundation repair offers several different solutions depending on the individual needs of the home. Foundation wall anchors, for example, are ideal for foundation walls that are buckling.

Meanwhile, foundation piers provide a better solution for cases of foundation settlement. Another option would be to install a sister foundation next to the damaged foundation to provide appropriate support.

The good news is that foundation repair often takes just a single day to complete, and it can be done in all seasons. The variety of different solutions means foundation repair allows for more budget flexibility, while the quick turnaround time means your foundation problems can be addressed immediately.

In Conclusion 

To determine which solution is better for the home, a professional evaluation will be needed. To lower your chances of requiring a foundation replacement, never ignore any warning signs of foundation damage.

The extent of the damage, the repair techniques needed, and the number of specialized materials used help determine the ultimate choice and cost. When it comes down to it, however, foundation repair is almost always the recommended route.

Unfortunately many cases of extreme foundation decay stem from issues with the soil, which means that foundation replacement will not solve the true source of the problem and will be extremely costly and disruptive.

On the other hand, foundation repair solutions aim to attack the problems at their source to guarantee lasting foundation success by implementing new solutions.

Related: How To Determine If Your House Needs A Foundation Repair

Has your foundation begun to crumble?

Is the structural security of your home not what it used to be?

Don’t wait for your home to become dangerous to live in. Call California Foundation Works today so that we can send a professional contractor over to provide a thorough home inspection. We’ll identify any weak spots and implement a custom solution that will permanently rectify your home’s foundation issues. Call today to get started!

 

Call California Foundation Works today to book your FREE* home inspection!
(323) 418-2239

san andreas fault

Earthquake Preparation Tips: Surviving the San Andreas Fault & Dangerous Quakes

san andreas fault

Southern California homeowners contend with their own unique set of real estate issues. With one of the largest threats facing a safe home being seismic activity, the San Andreas fault poses an exorbitant threat to greater California safety. Furthermore, Los Angeles was deemed one of the 10 largest cities in the world that has been rocked by damaging earthquakes. Today we’re going to review these large areas of earthquake concern and assist homeowners across California with fortifying their properties in the event of an earthquake striking. The bottom line is that California residents need to be prepared for the next big quake, and since it could strike at any time, it’s paramount to understand the issues at hand and devise a plan to combat seismic activity destruction.

Related: Earthquake Retrofitting 101: Secure Your Home

San Andreas fault safety concerns

The San Andreas fault stretches 800 miles across the Golden State, carrying a deadly legacy with it. With past earthquakes bringing mass fatalities, there is much concern over what will happen when the next big quake occurs.

All major cities surrounding the San Andreas fault could be endangered by a large earthquake on the fault, leading to likely catastrophic results.

earthquake retrofitting

In addition to the loss of many lives, there would be serious economic effects and mass real estate damage associated with an earthquake of large magnitude across the fault. Earthquakes can wreck cataclysmic damage to structures and largely impact the economy. That’s why local property owners have to do everything in their power to keep their structures secure, minimizing both financial and property loss and saving lives in the process.

San Andreas earthquake model 

Being earthquake ready involves more than one area of focus. While homeowners will have to team up with professional contractors to determine weaknesses in the home and secure them, understanding seismic activity in the area is beneficial to revealing a larger portrait of what needs to be done to fortify California properties. Thanks to efforts such as the ShakeOut Scenario, CyberShake, scientists are getting closer to determining when the next large regional earthquake might arrive. By creating estimates of ground shaking, scientists are working to map out plausible earthquake scenarios so that California homeowners and residents can be better prepared for combatting and preparing for deadly quakes. While efforts are still being made to most accurately pinpoint and predict seismic activity, one thing is apparent: it’s not a question of if, but when the next big quake is going to strike.

Related: Earthquake Safety Tips

Earthquake Brace and Bolt

Are you earthquake ready?

With the threat of the next big quake perpetually looming on the horizon, Southern California homeowners have to ask themselves an important question: is my home earthquake ready? In order to understand why proper structural fortification is needed, it’s necessary to understand how earthquakes affect homes. Though concerns about major earthquakes are certainly warranted, the scary truth is that any situation that involves the ground shifting beneath a home is enough to damage the foundation if it is not properly secured. 

That means that as much as a minor earthquake can potentially upset your home, causing lasting and devastating consequences on the structural health and lifespan of your building. For this reason, it’s essential to make sure that all areas of your building meet current codes and earthquake retrofitting standards. If you have a wood-structured building, especially one constructed prior to 1980, chances are your home is in need of an earthquake retrofitting update. However, if there is any area of weakness in your building, then retrofitting solutions are needed.  

How to spot damage 

TWhile the earthquake retrofitting process will require professional intervention, you can take precautions to protect your home against earthquake damage. The most important thing a homeowner can do to protect their property is to be vigilant about seeking out signs of foundation damage. The most apparent signs that something is amiss with your structure include large cracks, horizontal cracks, wide cracks, cracks clustered together, visible slants in ceilings/floors/walls, a visible slant in the outer structure of the building, doors and windows that have difficult opening, crumbling brick, and water intrusion. If you notice any of these signs, it’s detrimental to the health of your building to call in a professional contractor for an evaluation and home inspection. A professional contractor will be needed, especially there are foundation damage warning signs that can be invisible to the untrained eye.

Related: Preventative Care for Foundation Repair

Preparing your home for an earthquake

After working with a professional to determine the areas of your structure that are in need of updates and fortification, the earthquake retrofitting process can begin. Retrofitting solutions include cripple wall bracing, foundation bolting, and attaching braced cripple walls to the floor.

Strengthening cripple walls will guard the home against buckling when seismic activity hits, while foundation bolting will secure the home in place to prevent it from sliding when the ground shakes. 

Brace and bolt

Together these tried and true earthquake retrofitting measures can secure your home and drastically reduce the potential impact of seismic activity. And since seismic activity can strike at any time, it’s crucial to get the retrofitting process started as soon as possible. Any delay opens the window for damage, destruction, and possible death. Additionally, with mandatory retrofitting ordinances being handed out all over California, chances are your structure will be required by law to be updated if it hasn’t been already.  

If you’re a homeowner in an area prone to seismic activity, it’s key that you act as soon as possible. When it comes to protecting the residents of your dwelling and your property value, there’s no time to lose. Earthquakes could strike at any time, which is why you need to team up with a professional team of contractors and ensure that your home is properly retrofitted and fortified to withstand what nature has to throw at it.

Here at California Foundation Works, we’re dedicated to keeping California residents safe one household at a time. Call today to book your free home inspection so that we can get started on your seismic retrofit!

Any questions or concerns? 

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* foundation inspection and estimate!
323-418-2239

Brace and bolt

All You Need to Know about the Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program

EBB

When it comes to investing your hard-earned cash, you can’t go wrong by putting it into your home. Not only do our houses shelter our loved ones, but owning property is one of the most lucrative business ventures you can make. In order to keep your Los Angeles County home sheltered from the elements, including unpredictable storms and seismic activity, one essential step is obtaining earthquake brace and bolt services. Today we’re going to break down how you can save money through the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program, as well as its application process and benefits. If you’re a Southern California homeowner looking to guard your investment, this information is helpful to know and understand! 

 

Related: Foundation Damage Caused by the Storms in Los Angeles 

What are brace and bolt services?

Many homes in the greater Los Angeles area are not properly fortified, leaving them vulnerable in the event of an earthquake. And when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if they’re going to strike, but when. Homes that are decades old or constructed with wood framing, or especially homes that meet both of those specifications, are left particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage. The good news is that they can benefit enormously from brace and bolt services. 

Braces and bolts provide the most reliable insurance on the market for your structure by securing the foundation against seismic destruction. Bolting adds anchored bolts to the crawl space in order to prevent the home from sliding during seismic activity, while bracing strengthens and stiffens cripple walls to help prevent collapse.

What is the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program? 

Did you know that you could receive up to $3,000 to strengthen your structure by applying for the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program? This program supports fortifying your home in order to lessen the damage of seismic activity. EBB is able to help fund retrofitting expenses for residential crawl spaces that require bolts, braces, or strapped and braced water heaters. Eligible houses must meet Chapter A3 specifications, which typically require the home to be wood-framed, built on a low slope or level ground, have a raised foundation, or have certain types of cripple walls. In order to participate in the program, you must not start retrofit work before you have been accepted into the program. That means if you seek to receive funding, it’s important to plan ahead. 

 

Related: 4 Steps to Soft Story Retrofitting

cripple wall bracing

How can I apply for brace and bolt services?

Interested in receiving financial assistance through EBB? There are certain specifications that homeowners must meet in order to be eligible for the program. Their home must be located in one of the designated EBB zip codes and be the primary residence at the time of application and retrofit completion. Homeowners will need to register and apply online as a homeowner and be able to show a completed and signed IRS W-9 form if asked. Registration is allowed once per house, and all houses must adhere to the program rules. 

Wondering if your home might be eligible? There is a good chance your home might be EBB eligible if it is located inside one of the EBB zip codes, meets the CEBC Chapter A3 specifications, was built before 1980 and is located on a low slope or level ground, and if it has not already received EBB payments.

How does the EBB application process work?

Are you waiting to hear back about your EBB application? Once registration for the year closes, which it has already done for 2019, homeowners will be randomly selected by an electronic system. Applications must be reviewed and approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with applicants notified of progress via email. Early in the year, homeowners will be notified whether they have been placed on the waiting list or have been selected to participate. Therefore, if homeowners wish to receive assistance for the upcoming year, they are encouraged to submit all of their necessary information as soon as possible. For more information about the next grant registration, be sure to visit earthquakebracebolt.com. Applicants can also feel free to communicate with EBB at any time during the process.

 

Related: Are You Prepared for the Next Earthquake?

Why does your home need brace and bolt services?

You may not be able to predict when the next big earthquake strikes, but you do have the power to make sure that your home is guarded against the destruction of seismic activity. Brace and bolt services are essential to the health and strength of your structure. Likewise, your home might have been secured in the past, but time can create vulnerabilities, so it’s essential to get your home inspected and possibly updated if decades have passed since the last retrofitting process. Is your home as earthquake safe as it can be? If the answer isn’t a confident yes, then it’s time to take action.

Brace and bolt

EBB was created in order to aid residents in properly securing their homes in order to make California safer and lessen the destruction caused by earthquakes. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this beneficial program if you’re eligible! 

 

Earthquake retrofitting measures, such as a brace and bolt services, are necessary for securing your home in the wake of seismic activity. Don’t leave your Southern California home unprotected while earthquake threats loom. While the truth is that nothing can make your home entirely safe from earthquakes and their destruction, you can certainly significantly lower your chances of property damage by properly retrofitting your home.

Do you have concerns about the security of your structure?

Would you like to receive more information about how you can secure your home?

Call today to get started on the retrofitting process! At California Foundation Works we’re more than happy to answer all of your questions. Let’s work together to make your home as safe as possible!


Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* home inspection!
323-418-2239

foundation repair pasadena

The Importance of Foundation Repair in the Event of Seismic Activity

foundation crack

If you’re one of the lucky residents who get to call the greater Los Angeles area your home, then there are a lot of things to be happy about. However, one of the downsides of residing in Southern California is the unpredictable seismic activity. While not all earthquakes carry the same power, unfortunately all it takes is a minor earthquake to upset your foundation if it is not properly secured. Fortunately, you can ease worries out of your mind by taking the proper steps to secure your foundation. In order to fortify your home in the wake of unpredictable seismic activity, it’s crucial to have your foundation repaired so that it is in top shape no matter what the future has in store. 

Related: Understanding the Causes of Foundation Damage

Prioritize Stabilization

Though earthquakes can vary significantly in degree, the scary truth is that damage can occur in any situation that involves the ground shifting beneath your home. That means that your home’s foundation can become unsettled by even a seemingly small earthquake if your foundation isn’t properly fortified. For this reason, the number one thing you can do for your home is focus on foundation stabilization. Foundation repair is key for stabilizing your home, since structural integrity depends on a strong foundation. When the next earthquake hits, you want to make sure that your house won’t buckle or budge. One of the key ways in which foundation can become damaged over time is through changes in the soil. 

foundation repair rancho palos verdes

Excess moisture during wet periods and lack of moisture during spells of dryness can respectively cause the soil to expand and contract. Likewise, compacting errors during construction can contribute to soil issues. Overall, issues with the soil can lead to foundation instability. Therefore it is key to spot the damage warning signs as early as possible so that you can get your foundation in top state before the next quake strikes. 

Know the Signs 

Preventative and early action steps are always going to offer homeowners the most cost-effective solutions for their foundation. That’s why it’s crucial for homeowners to be vigilant for checking their homes for signs of foundation damage. This process should be done routinely in order to catch damage signs as early as possible and address any problems. Though some signs of foundation damage may appear invisible to the naked eye and require a professional inspection, there are other signs of damage that the average homeowner can spot. Look out for doors or windows that don’t fit their frames properly or have difficulty opening or closing. Cracks in the walls, ceilings, or tiles including especially wide cracks, large clusters of cracks, and horizontal cracks— are often strong indicators that something is amiss with the foundation. You should also be wary of uneven floors or warped walls, any signs of water intrusion, and the appearance of the home “sinking,” shifting, or moving.    

Related: Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

foundation repair venice

Understand the Process

If you have concerns about your foundation, you can rest easy knowing stabilization can almost always be achieved through foundation repair. While more serious cases might require complete foundation replacement, catching your issues early on will lead to easier solutions. Each repair process is unique, depending on individual factors in the home. In order to secure the foundation and keep it in top health, floor leveling, pier and beam reconstruction, and preventative support installation is often needed. There are two main methods for foundation stabilization, depending on whether the foundation is constructed with piers and beams or concrete slab. 

Pier and beam foundation stabilization is a dual step process that involves first installing supportive piers to concrete beams and then adjusting the piers that are used to support the home’s interior. Steel is then used to reinforce the concrete in a relatively simple repair process. On the other hand,  concrete slab foundation stabilization offers the more complicated repair route. Addressing concrete stab damage can be done in a variety of ways, including using steel or concrete pressed pilings, concrete piers, masonry patches and sealants, or high-density polyurethane foam.

Emphasize Safety 

Securing your foundation through necessary repairs and seismic retrofitting steps is ultimately necessary for protecting both your loved ones and your property value. While many buildings in the greater Los Angeles area have received mandatory seismic retrofitting orders, this is a process that all Southern California buildings can benefit from. This personalized process takes into account many factors, such as the location of the home, the condition of the foundation, the current strength of the structure, any existing damage, the original construction design, and more. While repairs and retrofittings might not seem like the most exciting way to spend your hard earned money, investing in the stability of your building will guarantee its health and duration for many years to come.

Related: Earthquake Effects and the Need for Seismic Retrofitting

Is you house properly retrofitted? Is your structure in need of repair? Secure your foundation today in order to guarantee the lasting security of your structure for many years to come. Don’t allow the next earthquake to jeopardize the stability of your home.

Call California Foundation Works today to get started on your foundation repair. No matter the scale of the project, we’re here to help you sleep soundly with the knowledge that your loved ones are secured. 

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* home inspection!
323-418-2239

earthquake retrofitting

Earthquake Effects and the Need for Seismic Retrofitting

House Retrofitting

There are many appealing aspects of settling down in Southern California, but earthquakes are certainly not one of them. While major earthquakes clearly pose visible threats to a building’s foundation, minor cases of seismic activity can also wreak havoc on your foundation in less obvious ways. In order to preserve your property value and keep your loved ones safe, it’s essential to understand the damage that earthquakes pose, spot the signs of damage, and secure your home against the threat of seismic destruction. 

Related: Earthquake Retrofitting 101: Secure Your Home 

How do earthquakes damage homes?

In any situation in which the ground shifts beneath a home, damage can occur. That means that even a minor earthquake can unsettle your home and upset your foundation if your building is not properly retrofitted. An unsettled foundation can cause your home to shift, slant, or event slide off the property in extreme causes. It can also lead to a host of interior and exterior house issues, such as foundation cracks and warped floors that can lead to serious issues for the homeowner if left untreated.

seismic retrofitting

It’s important for homeowners to understand that even minor earthquakes can cause damage, so inspections are necessary for keeping your foundation protected. If your foundation has sustained damage, you will need professional help to resolve the issue and prevent future damage.

How can homeowners prevent against damage? 

While some cases of serious earthquake damage is apparent to the naked eye, mild damage can often go undetected. This can cause problems that would have been relatively easy to fix if caught early to worsen over time and lead to more extensive and costly repairs. That’s why it’s extremely important to be vigilant about checking your home for signs of foundation damage after seismic activity, no matter how minor the earthquake. The most cost effective way to keep your home safe is to be proactive, catch damages early on, and connect with a contractor to discuss repair options. While our contractors are happy to provide free foundation inspections, there are also signs that homeowners can be on the lookout for before they call in the professionals. 

Related: Earthquake Safety Tips

prepared for the next earthquake

What are foundation damage warning signs?

One of the most visible signs of foundation damage are cracks, which can be located in both the home’s exterior and interior. Exterior foundation cracks of large dimensions are often linked to foundation damage. Be on the lookout for unusually large cracks or horizontal cracks, which could be a sign of foundation movement. Visible slants in floors, ceilings, walls, and the general appearance of the house itself can indicate that the foundation is leaning or shifting, which is a sign of major foundation damage.

Broken bricks or blocks, if these materials are used in your foundation, are also possible indicators of damage. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to call in professional help so that the root of the issues can be understood. If it is determined that your issues are linked to foundation damage, then appropriate steps must be taken to fortify your home. 

What are earthquake retrofitting solutions? 

The good news is that with the right professional help, retrofitting your home against the destruction of earthquakes is a more than manageable task. Earthquake retrofitting is a necessity for Southern California building owners. Popular solutions include cripple wall bracing, foundation bolting, and attaching the floor to braced cripple walls. These forms of fortification will prevent the home from shifting or sliding in the event of seismic activity, allowing the homeowner to rest easy with the knowledge that their building is secured. In order to determine which solution, or solutions, are best for your unique situation, a professional will need to evaluate your home and determine the most effective course of action. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide for the Soft Story Retrofit Cost 

Is your building in need of a seismic retrofit?

If your structure hasn’t been properly secured, it is leaving residents vulnerable in the event of seismic activity. When it comes to protecting your loved ones and property value, don’t take any chances! California Foundation Works offers free home inspections so that you can set your mind at ease and get started on a cost-effective solution for securing your home. Call today to book your free, no obligations inspection. A member of our team will be happy to answer any questions!

We offer FREE earthquake stability inspection, seismic retrofitting estimate for homeowners. To schedule call us at 323-418-2239

soft story retrofitting in La

The Ultimate Guide for the Soft Story Retrofit Cost Recovery Program

soft story retrofit

Many Los Angeles County residents have received mandatory soft-story retrofit ordinances in the mail, requiring them by law to update their buildings within a set amount of time.

While these mandates are needed to guarantee the structural stability of the building and the safety of all occupants in the event of seismic activity, that doesn’t make receiving an ordinance any less stressful for property owners. In addition, though soft-story retrofits are necessary long-term investments that will guarantee the health of your building, that doesn’t mean that makes footing the bill any less easy in the present. Today we are going to walk you through the soft story Cost Recovery Program so that you can discover the most cost-effective way to secure your building and keep residents comfortable throughout the process without sacrificing your savings. Ready to get started?

Related: What Affects the Cost of Seismic Retrofit?

What are the mandatory retrofits?

Close to 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles County alone have received orders to comply for mandatory retrofits. Passed in 2015, this ordinance requires for determined at-risk buildings to structurally secure their dated structures, a project that can run upwards of $130,000 in some cases for wood framed structures and as much as several million dollars for large concrete buildings.

The carefully defined ordinance gives building owners a total of 7 years to complete their mandatory retrofits in full, providing them a limited amount of time to work out payment plans and figure out savings. 

soft story retrofitting in La

However, the Cost Recovery Program can reimburse the building owner up to 50% of the project costs upon the completion of construction.

What is the Cost Recovery Program?  

If you are seeking a way to recover your seismic retrofitting costs, then you are not alone. On February 12, 2016, the Seismic Retrofit Work Cost Recovery Program became effective to provide a temporary rent surcharge to tenants based on two factors. These factors include: 1. A Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) approved pass-through of the total retrofitting costs of up to 50% divided equally among all rental units; 2. A rent increase for a recovery period of 120 months (which can be extended) at the maximum amount of $38 until the approved amount has been collected in full. That means that it is possible for property owners to recover up to 50% of the costs spent on the mandatory retrofitting.

Ready to sign up? 

Related: What Affects the Cost of Soft Story Retrofit?

soft story retrofitting Los angeles

How can I apply for cost recovery?

To apply for the Seismic Retrofit Work Cost Recovery Program, it is necessary to submit an application online. You will also be required to mail any supporting documentation that has been uploaded to the Department so that it can be received within 30 days of your application being filed. Once you have submitted your application, a mailing label will be provided, or you can bring the documentation in to a public counter. In order to submit an application successfully, it must be submitted within 12 months of your retrofit being completed.

You will be required to submit a copy of your Tenant Habitability Plan (THP), documentation to support the costs of the project, a rent roll with tenant rent and move in dates, and final permits for all work that required permits. 

How are cost recovery applications processed? 

Each application will have a Case Analyst assigned to it in order to review the application and assist with the process. Tenants and landlords will be notified that the application has been filed, at which point HCIDLA will review the documentation and determine the amount of the pass-through. Once a final determination has been made, it will be mailed to the tenants and landlords along with an appeal form. Tenants and landlords will both have the right to appeal the decision. 

Related: How to Apply for Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program

What is the Tenant Habitability Plan?

The Tenant Habitability Program requires that a Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) is developed in order to protect the rights of the tenants and minimize the impact of major construction for their well-being. A THP is required by property owners to ensure that necessary steps are taken to ensure that tenants can safety remain in their lodgings during construction or that safe temporary relocation can be provided for them.

Filing a THP is a required step of seismic retrofit work. The THP requires a number of points of important information,

soft story

including a list of the tenants and their current rent payment, the anticipated impact of the work on the residents’ living areas, the anticipated impact of the construction on the personal property of the tenants, and extended information about the disruption anticipated during the construction. Overall, THPs require a very thorough breakdown of the amount of work anticipated and the overall impact it will have on residents and their lives. 

What should I know about filing a THP? 

A THP can be filed by building owners at any time before the seismic retrofit begins. While THPs might include extra costs upfront in order to minimize the impact of construction on tenants, if all paperwork is filed correctly, they can bring many long-term cost benefits since they will be a key asset in securing an approved Cost Recovery Program. Therefore, it is very important to file your THP correctly. If you team up with the right engineer, then you will be able to keep your tenants in their homes and avoid paying for relocation.

Successful engineering, therefore, plays an important role in deterring the overall cost and success of your retrofit. All soft-story building owners are advised to ask about the THP process when they are getting their project bids, in order to be able to complete it successfully. The number one thing you can do to ensure the comfort of your tenants and the eventual recovery of the project cost is to work with a skilled engineer who will be able to minimize the disruption of your tenants’ lives and complete the mandatory retrofitting project in a quick, clean, and efficient manner. 

Related: Earthquake Retrofitting 101: Securing Your Home

Is your building in need of a soft story retrofit?

Have you received a mandatory ordinance in the mail?

Do you have any concerns about the structural stability of your dwelling?

California Foundation Works is here to help! We offer top quality foundation work, repair, and replacement of all kinds to the greater Los Angeles area. If you have any concerns about your soft story structure or wish to discuss budgeting options, don’t hesitate to call today! 

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* home inspection!
323-418-2239