slab replacement in los angeles

Foundation Replacement

Major home repairs, such as foundation replacement, are a process that no homeowner enjoys. However, in some cases they are necessary in order to protect the structural integrity of the home. Fortunately with the right contractors, foundation replacement can become a manageable task utilized to protect both your property value and the residents of the dwelling.

Foundation Damage Signs

Foundation damage isn’t an issue that appears suddenly. There are a number of initial warning signs that homeowners can be on the lookout for in order to monitor the structural security of their home.

The most common signs of foundation damage are sagging or sloping floors, cracks in floors or ceilings, gaps between the floors and walls, doors or windows that stick and have trouble opening or closing, and walls that are beginning to warp, lean, or bow.

Replace or Repair?

Fortunately most forms of foundation damage can be repaired with professional help. However, there are some extreme cases of foundation destruction that call for replacement.

How do you determine if the foundation should be repaired or replaced?  In cases of severe deterioration, the more cost effective solution is sometimes to replace the foundation. In special cases it is more expensive to repair severely damaged foundation than it would be to replace it entirely.

Foundation replacement in Southern California homes is often the result of extreme weather, such as soil erosion as a result of flooding or high magnitude earthquakes. Soil plays a major role in foundation damage. When the soil beneath a home sinks or settles, the home can experience a movement known as foundation settlement. Expansive soil can also lead to bowing and buckling of walls.

Signs of Replacement

A professional inspection is the only way to be completely sure a foundation replacement is needed. Some types of foundation damage are not clear to the naked eye. However, there are some general signs that replacement is needed.

Signs that point to a foundation replacement include excessive or large cracks, sinking or shearing in the foundation due to the soil base, hollow spaces in the foundation, and lengthy exposure to water or moisture. Issues with the original foundation that call for replacement include unsound building materials, low-quality concrete, not allowing the foundation to cure long enough, and the usage of unreinforced materials.

Replacement Process

The replacement process is unique for each dwelling, taking as little as one week to several weeks to repair.  Foundations that are crumbling or porous will not be able to resist earthquakes of high magnitude. The brick or stone masonry will need to be strengthened in order to fortify the dwelling.

When foundation replacement is needed, heavy equipment is used to expose the foundation by excavating the soil around the home. Temporary supports are then used to “jack up” the house so that the slab floor and foundation walls can be taken out.

 

The house will be lowered back into place after the new foundation has been built. The soil will then be replaced and other exterior details, such as porches or walkways, can be restored to their original place.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homeowner is to ignore signs of foundation damage. The problems will only worsen over time, leading to a more expensive and invasive repair in the future. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you spot any signs of foundation damage.

Do you have sloping or cracked floors? Are your walls warping? Do your doors stick? Call California Foundation Works at (323) 418-2239 today for your free foundation inspection!

Los Angeles Floor Leveling

Los Angeles homeowners may have secured themselves a coveted piece of real estate, but there are some unsavory realities to contend with as homeowners. Frequent seismic zone activity and soil foundation settlement are two major issues that homeowners in Los Angeles face when protecting their property value.

Floor leveling is key to maintaining the structural integrity of your dwelling. Fortunately you can stay vigilant in order to seek out early warning signs and determine the issue in advance to get your foundation and leveling problems taken care of early on.

Foundation Settlement Signs

Foundation settlement leads to a building structure becoming sloped. The most frequent signs of this predicament include uneven floors, cracks in ceilings and walls, and windows and doors having difficulty closing or opening with ease. Other signs include bumps in the floor and floors that squeak and are noisy to walk on.

To rectify the problem, professional floor leveling is needed. Floor leveling is used to restore buildings to their original position after the house has began to sink or the foundation shows signs of shifting. Though the process is delicate, with expert help it is possible to restore most buildings to their original position.

Floor Leveling Process

Professional house leveling commonly uses a jack or a lift to raise the home to its proper level, while correcting the cause of the misalignment in order to prevent future issues. In order to secure the home, beams are attached to jacks under the house in a process called shoring. The careful raising of the hydraulic jacks will prevent damage to the building over time while also avoiding damage to the home’s interior.

In order to ensure for lasting structural success, the foundation is upgraded to meet current codes. As the jacks are raised to lift the building, new piers and posts are added to secure the adjustment and support the newly leveled floor. In order to ensure for a structurally sound completion in your home leveling project, expert help is needed.

Securing Your Dwelling

Floor leveling isn’t just a suggested step for homes that are experiencing foundation shift or sinking: it is a necessary solution. Homes that are experiencing shifting or sinking can pose major safety threats to all residents. In fact, in some areas upgrades are mandated.

Additionally, Los Angeles homeowners cannot afford to be lax about their foundation care. Due to unpredictable and severe weather and seismic activity, it is entirely plausible that sinking or shifting homes might entirely slide off their foundation or collapse during natural disasters.

Ignoring foundation issues will only exacerbate the symptoms and lead to an even costlier repair down the line. If not properly addressed, the structure of the home could be damaged beyond repair, causing the investment value of the home to sharply plummet. Overall, floor leveling is needed to both improve the quality of the living space and expose and address underlying foundation problems.

Is your home sloping? Do your home have uneven floors? Let us restore your home to its original position.

Call California Foundation Works at (323)-418-2239 today to book your free foundation inspection!

Could My Home Benefit from Sister Foundation?

 

A homeowner’s reality is there will be maintenance and renovations to deal with over the years. While renovations can provide an external facelift when desired, there are times when homeowners wish to fortify their home without altering the appearance.

If homes are located in historic areas that are prohibited from aesthetic alterations, or if the owner decides to maintain the current curb appeal of their home, there are ways to navigate this situation. “Sister foundation” is to go-to solution for homeowners who need a foundation upgrade while preserving their home’s current charm.

 

What is Sister Foundation?

 

Is your home located in a historic region, such as those in Long Beach or South Pasadena? Do you need to strengthen your house without altering the exterior? Sister foundation renovations can help. Sister foundation involves pouring a new foundation against the existing foundation due to a perceived failure in the first foundation. For example, a new concrete foundation could be poured against a river rock or brick foundation that has proven to be faulty for the house’s stability. This process brings the house up to current codes without interfering with the original look of the home.

 

Sister Foundation and Seismic Retrofitting

 

Los Angeles homeowners may have secured themselves a prime piece of property, but there are many natural disasters they have to navigate. Having a stable foundation is essential in maintaining a home’s integrity in order to protect both property value and the safety of residents. If left without foundation reinforcement that meets current codes, homes cannot be seismically retrofitted. This means that houses with foundations such as rock or brick that haven’t been cement reinforced cannot receive necessary retrofitting needed to brace homes against earthquakes. In order to obtain or retain earthquake insurance, homeowners will most likely need to verify that their home is up to current seismic building code standards. In this case, sister foundation is the only solution that will satisfy all demands.

 

Pros and Cons

 

Sister foundation is typically a less expensive solution to repairing foundation issues. It also preserves the home’s exterior, which is beneficial for houses that already have attractive rock or brick foundations. However, even with a sister foundation, the exterior walls of the house will still be almost entirely supported by the home’s original foundation. And due to clearances, sister foundation may not always be a practical option. If you are considering sister foundation as a solution to your foundation problems, be sure to consult a professional first to see if it is the best option and to learn about what other options are available to you.

 

Related: 5 Main Reasons for Foundation Repair

 

Are you worried about the structural integrity of your home? Could your home’s foundation benefit from a professional evaluation? Call California Foundation Works at 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

 

Earthquake Retrofitting 101: Securing Your Home

 

Homeowners in the Los Angeles area are aware of the impact of earthquakes. Earthquakes can devastate homes by causing walls to crack and buckle and homes to even slide off their foundation. Luckily earthquake retrofitting can fortify your home to minimize the damage.concrete building commercial retrofit in los angeles

Earthquake retrofitting can update older building structures to secure your home against major structural damage caused by earthquakes. A number of solutions are available to homeowners in order to secure their homes.

 

Foundation Bolting

 

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.

 

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 strengthened 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.

 

Cripple Wall Bracing

 

A 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.

 

Other Solutions

 

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 are 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.

 

Conclusions

 

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.

 

Related :  What Affects the Cost of Seismic Retrofit

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.

 

post and beam foundation damage

Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

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. 

Droughtpost and beam foundation damage

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.

Related :  How To Spot Foundation Damage Caused By Drought

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 the 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 overtime if certain precautions won’t be made to maintain it properly.

Related : Retrofitting a Los Angeles Home for Earthquakes

Clay Soils

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 on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

How Landscaping Affects Your Foundation

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.

Related :  Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Improper Drainage

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 :  Preventative Drainage Solutions For Your Home in Los Angeles

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.

Related :  How To Spot Foundation Damage Caused By Drought

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you suspect that your foundation is getting affected by landscaping. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Types of House Foundations

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 Crawl Space Encapsulationin 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.

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.

Related : Do You Need A Crawlspace Encapsulation ?

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

Basement Foundation

A basement foundation is a type of foundation with a high foundation walls 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 on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

Things To Put Into Consideration Before Garage Relocation

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.  

Driveway

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 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.

Related :  When Should You Resurface Your Driveway ?

Permits

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 : Questions To Ask Your Concrete Contractor

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 on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free garage relocation inspection and estimate.

Related :  Ways in Which Decorative Concrete is Used

A Leaning Chimney Could Mean Foundation Damage

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.

Poor Soils

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.

Related : Protect Your Los Angeles Home Against Mudslides and Landslides

Poor Footing

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

Solutions

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.

What Affects The Cost Of Soft Story Retrofit ?

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.

Building Size

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.

Related :  What Affects The Cost Of Seismic Retrofit

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.

What Affects The Cost Of Seismic Retrofit


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

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.

Related : New Spotlight on house bolting – Sill Bolt and Plate Washer Interference

Wood Blocking

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.

Ways in Which Concrete Can Increase Your Yard’s Curb Appeal

‘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.

Concrete Driveways

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.

Related :  When Should You Resurface Your Driveway ?

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.  

Related :  What Type of Retaining Wall Does Your Los Angeles House Need ?

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.

Related :  Ways in Which Decorative Concrete is Used

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.