In Southern California, we’ve seen our fair share of building damages due to seismic activity. Commercial building owners often overlook the potential for earthquake damages and/or the need for foundational repair or rebuilding. Since most insurance policies don’t cover earthquake damage, it’s important to find out what your options are as a commercial or industrial building owner. Taking preparatory measures to protect your investment is at the forefront of building ownership.
If you decide you have an inspection performed to examine the foundation of your building, it helps to know what the inspector is looking for so that you’ll be able to understand more about their observations and recommended plans. Damaged foundations are dangerous and pose a risk to building inhabitants, employees, and residents; therefore, it’s important to take the proper precautions to safeguard their well being and avoid legal ramifications. These are the basic steps that a certified foundational inspector will take in determining the condition and quality of your commercial building’s foundation.
Step 1. Important Factors for the Inspector to Consider
The first step in foundational inspection entails looking at the existing condition of the foundation and considering several factors that contribute to its quality and stability. These observations will help the contractors devise and suggest an efficient plan for foundational repair.
Terrain Building Sits On
The terrain that a commercial building sits on is critical for the stability of the structure. It’s important to take into consideration whether the building sits on a sloping hill, if there are large boulders near the building or construction sites that could disrupt the existing foundation, or if there is adequate drainage planning for the area to avoid serious flooding. All of these conditions compromise the safety of a commercial building’s foundation.
Materials Used in Construction of Building
Buildings that were built over 10 years ago were made with different materials that decompose at a different rate than others. It’s also helpful to consider how the structure was planned and built initially to get a good idea of how to approach repairs or new construction. The inspector might look at original building plans or construction information to be sure his plans work well with the existing structural details.
Lack of Building Support
Often contractors take shortcuts that leave the foundation of the building vulnerable. Missing supports such as concrete posts can cause a building to be far more susceptible to earthquake damage. In building inspection, looking for things that are missing is just as important as looking for things that are present.
Foundation Issues and Damages
Of course, one of the most important factors to consider in a structural inspection is to look at obvious signs of disrepair and damage, such as cracks and fissures in the foundation of the building.
Step 2. Analyze Collected Information
Once the initial inspection has been conducted, the next step is for the contractor to take all the data and observations collected and properly analyze it. This is perhaps the most important part of the inspection, as it will lead to the proper treatment method.
Step 3. Come Up With a Plan for Repair
The information collected in the inspection aids the contractor in coming up with a plan for repair that addresses the structural deficiencies as well as existing damages. The repairs should fix any cracks or damage present but also plan for the future and how to prevent damages from occurring down the road. If you’re not satisfied with the repairs or plans, it’s critical to ask plenty of questions and have several estimates or inspections performed.
How Can We Help You
The structural experts here at Troy Builders have helped countless numbers of commercial and industrial building owners in the areas of Tarzana, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Long Beach and Woodland Hills, CA, address and repair foundational and structural issues. Our professionalism and expertise is evident in the quality of the inspections and repair work we perform, as our main goal is to keep our clients safe and ensure their future in their buildings. Furthermore, we provide our services at affordable prices. If you would like to schedule an inspection for your commercial or industrial building, please contact one of our professionals directly.