If you have survived a natural disaster, then you are no stranger to finding your belongings in a pile of rubble and wreckage that was once your home. Earthquakes are one of the natural disasters that plague the Southern California area, but it’s simply not enough to keep people from enjoying the year-round beautiful weather and oceanside. Unfortunately, homeowners who have always lived in these areas have undoubtedly experienced a level of devastation and destruction that is difficult to bounce back from, especially because earthquake insurance is not automatically a part of homeowners’ policies. When you invest in a home, it is critical to take precautionary measures that will protect your investment for a lifetime, and keep your home safe during these types of natural disasters that are inevitable for us all. Whether you already own a home or are looking to purchase a home, you may want to consider taking steps to secure the foundation. Retrofitting is a way to solidify the foundation, stabilizing and securing the very base the home sits upon. Here are some things to consider before looking into retrofitting:
The Area You Live In
Southern California cities like Tarzana, Santa Monica, and Long Beach have suffered devastating earthquakes over the years. Many people have lost their homes to the intense shaking of the earth and the disruption of the foundation that supposedly keeps a home stable. Unfortunately, these areas are more prone to earthquakes, just like some areas of the Midwest are prone to tornados, or other areas are prone to hurricanes. It is simply a part of life that we all must learn to work around. Fortunately, retrofitting a home can make the foundation stable enough to withstand even the most intense earthquakes.
The Age of the Structure
Depending on how old the home is, the foundation might be more susceptible to earthquake damage. Homes that were built decades ago did not employ the same technology, accuracy, and efficiency in design—nor did the builders take into account how to properly stabilize structures in preparation for earthquakes. Furthermore, homes that were built after the mid 80s were especially lacking in foundational security. It is critical to keep in mind that engineering and structural design have come a long way over recent decades, and your home might not meet safety standards.
The Physical Location of the Home
If a structure sits on a hill, on a flat surface, or on a raised foundation, there are specific protocol that builders must adhere to and follow for safety purposes. Of course, living on a flat surface is the optimal condition for homes to best withstand earthquakes; however, houses that are built on hills can be structurally stabilized by retrofitting and other techniques to address the unique concerns that such a location can pose to such homes.
Garages are a luxury and commodity for many people seeking new homes—they often ask, “is it a one or two-car garage?” But if you aren’t familiar with earthquake hazards, it may be surprising to hear that garages are particularly susceptible to earthquake damage. The lack of support surrounding the garage door in particular requires that the foundation be strong enough to move and sway with the earth’s movements to prevent total collapsing of the garage structure. If your home has a garage, you should have the foundation assessed by experts in your area who are familiar with the various ways to address the issue.
How We Can Help
The experts here at Troy Builders have years of experience and expertise in the field of retrofitting and foundational repair. We know that every project poses unique, individual challenges, and we are familiar with the wide range of circumstances to address. Because we have lived in and served the areas of Southern California such as Tarzana, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Long Beach and Woodland Hills, we know how terrifying and destructive earthquakes can be for residents. We pride ourselves on our strong work ethic and attention to detail because there is hardly any other job that requires those qualities like foundational retrofitting does. If you are concerned about your home’s foundation, contact us today to schedule a consultation—we look forward to helping you feel more assured and rested, knowing that your home can become safer and more secure.