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How to Make Your Home Earthquake-Proof

Earthquake Affected Home

The Southern California areas like Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Burbank, Glendale, and Long Beach are notorious for earthquake devastation. The thought of losing our homes or residences to earthquakes is terrifying, and there isn’t much we can do to prevent or prepare the potential damages that could occur when the next big one hits. Retrofitting a building is the only process to-date that can help prevent the harm that an earthquake can inflict upon our homes. Retrofitting is a process of foundational and structural reconfiguration and reinforcement for buildings that secures them more soundly to the earth, allowing them to move and shift appropriately when the earth begins to shake to avoid serious irreparable damages. For many of us, our homes are our livelihood that we wish to bestow eventually upon future generations, or they are a much-needed security for our own retirements and lifelong dreams. When such an investment is lost before your eyes due to a natural disaster, it can be crippling. In the Southern California area, it is critical to take the proper steps to ensure our safety and our future—retrofitting your home is the best approach for earthquake security.

Consequences of an earthquake

Retrofitting can involve numerous procedures and processes in order to make your home more earthquake-proof. The three potential outcomes of an earthquake’s effect on your home are the following: the structure slides off the foundation partially or completely; racking, where the crippled walls may fold or collapse; and overturning, where the house can come up off the foundation, causing a gap between the structure and the foundation. Because there are different ways that an earthquake can impact your home’s structure, there are corresponding ways that retrofitting experts must secure the house.

Types of retrofitting

Foundation bolting

Foundation bolting should have been done initially when the home was built. Unfortunately, crews trying to rush through the process of building leave room for much foundational improvement in most areas, in particular for many track homes. With a majority of Southern California being comprised of track homes, this means that there is ample opportunity for earthquake devastation. Furthermore, foundation bolting can become corroded and worn out over time, making even “newer” homes in need of foundational correction. Foundation bolting is one process that reinforces the structure of your home by bolting it properly to the underlying foundation, making it lay completely level and flat on the earth.

Cripple wall bracing

Another process that retrofitting technique often involves is cripple wall bracing. The area beneath some homes where a crawl space lies often includes a wall that connects the above structure (the house) to the below structure (the foundation); this is what is known as a “cripple wall.” Because this wall endures a large amount of weight and pressure at all times, it is a key component of homes that gives out during an earthquake. Reinforcing the cripple wall by properly bracing it can prevent your entire home from collapsing to the foundation. It is important that experts in retrofitting perform each of these procedures; when it comes to properly securing the foundation and structure of your home, very few imposter companies get it right, leaving you with a mess of foundational problems that are expensive to fix and must be corrected.

San Andreas Fault

Find experts to make your home earthquake-proof

Foundational issues in a home are not something that all homeowners think of, but it certainly is for residents of Southern California. The experts here at Troy Builders have an extensive background in retrofitting and foundational work. Our reputation in the Los Angeles community has brought us many clients over the years that we have been able to help through our skills and abilities in foundational corrective procedures. Retrofitting isn’t just for residences and homes, but for all buildings in the So Cal area—we are all susceptible to earthquake damage, and most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have earthquake insurance. Homes are the main investment for most families in California, and when that livelihood is threatened by a natural disaster, it can be threatening to our immediate safety as well as our futures. Get in touch with us at Troy Builders so that we can offer you a free estimate for our services—it could save you a lifetime of worry, stress, and potential hardship.