Living in Southern California, uncertainty is always a looming threat when it comes to the next big earthquake. But even small earthquakes – some we may not even feel – are doing damage behind the scenes. If your home isn’t retrofitted, it can suffer lasting structural damage no matter what the size of the quake. Obviously, a major earthquake would produce devastating large-scale effects, but don’t discount the small ones. To prevent damage, you need a professional skilled in earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles.
Today’s building codes feature provisions for seismic vulnerability in wood-frame buildings. But before the 1990s, there was no such thing as an enforced code. Once 2000 rolled around, the International Code Council (ICC) released the first industry-wide residential building code to ensure homes are built to withstand earthquake impacts. However, homes built before this time don’t have such reinforcements and must be retrofitted to bring them up to code.
Strengthening Structural Integrity
Seismic retrofitting of a building remains one of the best ways to strengthen the structural integrity of a home prior to a disaster. It’s important to employ responsible safety preparations now rather than later, simply due to the unpredictability of Mother Nature.
For minimal cost and disruption, there are many types of non-structural retrofits you can take on to reduce the chance primarily of interior damage, as well as damage to water, gas and power systems. These improvements are effective in maintaining function of the building during earthquakes that create ground motion below the level of design.
In terms of major structural retrofits, some of the more common include:
Adding anchor bolts or steel plates between the home and foundation.
Bracing the interior of the home’s cripple wall with sheathing.
Bracing unreinforced chimneys, masonry, concrete walls and foundations.
Only a professional seismic retrofitting contractor can know for sure which actions need to be taken. After an on-site consultation and inspection, your contractor will let you know his or her recommendations and come up with a plan on earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles.
Securing Your Belongings
On top of a retrofit, there are steps you can take to minimize damage to your home in the event an earthquake hits:
Fasten bookcases and cabinets to nearby walls, stabilize bookcases and secure latches to cabinet drawers.
Secure electronic equipment to the floor or table via braces, Velcro or industrial strength glue.
Secure picture frames, artwork and bulletin boards to the wall with closed screw-eyes.
Brace storage shelves to withstand shaking and ensure they are securely anchored to the floor. Put heavier objects on the bottom.
Apply a protective film on all glass windows, doors and walls to keep shattering and thus injuries from occurring.
Install flexible braided lines and couples rather than rigid plumbing supply lines and couplings to prevent rupture.
Ensure hangers that support your mechanical and plumbing systems are less than one foot long to reduce sway.
Brace all boilers, furnaces, AC equipment, and water heaters to the wall or floor.
Will and his company did an outstanding job retrofitting my 6 apartment buildings. I had several other companies bid this project but was won over by his knowledge and honesty. He listened to what i was concerned about, assured me he would he take care of everything and did everything he said he was going to do…and then some. I highly recommend him.
- Vlad R.
I want to thank Will and Isaias for assisting me on a special project I needed done at my house. Isaias came early and did exactly what I needed and asked for and for a reasonable price.I can’t thank you guys enough.
- Jessica D.
Will is honest and ethical which is a lot more than can be said about a lot of people in his business. All in all, just a pleasure to do business with.
- Reuben Z.
Excellent Project Manager and crew. Very professional and knowledgeable. They even did a little extra work at no charge that was not part of the contract! You will be making an excellent choice if you hire this contractor for your earthquake foundation repair.