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Foundation Seismic Retrofit

Welcome to ABC Constructions & our  Earthquake Ready Solutions, your trusted partner in safeguarding your…

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Foundation Upgrades & Repairs

When it comes to raised foundation repairs, there are several common examples of issues that…

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Real Estate Inspections

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EarthquakeReady Solutions

Your Foundation Seismic Retrofit Company

  • Awesome Image Foundation Bolting: Strengthening the connection between your home's foundation and the frame to prevent shifting during an earthquake.
  • Awesome Image Cripple Wall Rebuilt: Rebuilt the crawl space cripple walls with structural enhancements to ensure stability.
  • Awesome Image Shear Wall Installation: Adding shear walls to absorb lateral forces, protecting your property from seismic shaking.
  • Awesome Image Raised Foundation Retrofit: Strengthening Single Family Dwellings and buildings up to 4 units built from 1900s to 1960s, which are prone to side off its foundation during an earthquake.
  • Awesome Image Foundation Repair: Fixing any pre-existing foundation issues to ensure a stable base for your investment and your property structural health.

According to the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), Southern Californian’s have more than a 75% chance of experiencing one or more 7.0+ magnitude earthquakes within the next 23 years! As a whole, California is earthquake country, because it rests on the sliding boundary of two gigantic tectonic plates. The Pacific plate is sliding upward to the west, while the North American tectonic plate is moving in the opposite direction, creating the infamous San Andreas Fault. In addition to this fault, Los Angeles is burdened with over a hundred smaller active faults that have been responsible for powerful shakes, such as the Northridge earthquake of 1994. For these reasons, it is known that a major earthquake will come, and it will come without warning, which is why it is so important that Southern California homeowners proactively get their houses assessed for seismic retrofitting. 

The main purpose of a foundation seismic retrofit is to connect an existing structure to its foundation in order to prevent it from falling off its foundation in the event of an earthquake. Although seismic rehabilitation is voluntary in scope, it is particularly essential for homes built before 1980 on raised foundations. Retrofit requirements are based on the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) LA City Standard Plan #1. The standards are meant to improve the seismic performance of existing, wood-framed residential homes, but they are not necessarily intended to prevent damage in an earthquake. At ABC construction, we provide you with the LA Standard Plan #1, highlighted with details pertaining to your specific project. If you would like to see a copy of the LA Voluntary foundation Seismic Retrofit Standard Plan #1, you can read more here: anchor-bolting-bracing-foundation-drawing.pdf.

There are many reasons to retrofit for the health of your family and home. Obviously, the most important reason to get a seismic upgrade is to make it safer. The primary objective of a retrofit is to make sure that inhabitants can shelter in place and survive in the event of a major earthquake. A securely retrofitted home is less vulnerable to structural damage from shaking, which reduces the chance of injury and death. In addition to safety however, a seismic rehabilitation can also protect a homeowner’s wallet. A retrofit can save the customer a substantial amount of money in the long run. First and foremost, it protects the homeowner’s investment and increases the resale value of the home. While costing several thousand dollars on average, retrofitting a home is undoubtedly less expensive than paying for costly structural repairs that can incur as a result of earthquake damage. Seismic upgrades can also help eliminate unexpected expenditures. For example, high magnitude earthquakes can render homes uninhabitable and reconstruction can take years. In this situation, on top of a mortgage and the expenses required to repair a home, a homeowner may need to additionally pay for rental housing, and unfortunately rent tends to surge following natural disasters. Furthermore, a retrofit can also protect the financial investment of a home renovation project. When a home is being remodeled or square footage is being added to a home, it is important to remember that seismic rehabilitation is voluntary. A contractor will not necessarily hire or have an in-house foundation specialist to evaluate the condition of a home’s foundation. We have inspected many remodeled homes, in which hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent on renovations that rested upon foundations in poor conditions. It is important to remember that foundation repair and replacement is a specialty trade. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a foundation inspected by a specialist before beginning a renovation project. Lastly, having a home retrofitted may help with insurance costs. Insurance companies that cover earthquake damage are expensive, and seismic upgrades may lower premiums and deductibles. In fact, most insurance companies will not cover earthquake damage if the home has not been retrofitted.

Due to the inevitability of significant earthquake activity in Southern California, it is essential that homeowners retrofit their homes for physical safety and financial security. With so many other daily concerns, it’s easy to delay costly, home maintenance tasks that do not have a concrete timetable. However, prioritizing a foundation retrofit will reduce the risk of seismic- related damage to the home in the event of an earthquake and hopefully prevent unnecessary expenses that could incur otherwise as a result.