LOS ANGELES – Seismic activity in Southern California occurs on a regular basis, weakening house foundations and causing damage that can lead to a building’s collapse during a major quake. Construction and foundation repair expert Julian De La Torre, founder of Julian Construction (www.julianconstruction.com) says regular foundation inspection and maintenance can help prevent structural failure when the ground shakes. He offers these tips to homeowners that want to increase the integrity of their foundation.
Conduct a thorough inspection of your property. Look for cracks, slopping floors, bowed walls and other evidence of existing foundation problems. Repair any damage.
Find the source of your foundation problems. Foundations can weaken over time due to excessive moisture, expanding and contracting soil, and foliage growing too close to the structure. A foundation repair expert can determine what is causing the deterioration and correct it.
Bolt your house. House bolting will increase your home’s stability, which can help minimize damage during an earthquake.
Strengthen cripple walls. A cripple wall is the wall between the foundation and the first floor. These are the walls that receive the force of a quake. Install braces to strengthen these walls and prevent them from shifting during an earthquake.
According to Julian, the motion of a quake can cause a house to slip off of its foundation. “Cripple walls in older homes are often very weak,” says Julian. “Seismic activity can cause the wall to move, and result in the first floor collapsing onto the foundation.” He adds that seismic retrofitting is a multi-step process that involves bracing cripple walls and bolting them to the home’s floor and foundation.
“House bolting, bracing cripple walls and keeping a foundation in good repair will help minimize damage from a quake and ensure greater safety for the home’s occupants,” says Julian.
Julian De La Torre has been retrofitting buildings since the early 1990s and has personally worked on over 6,600 homes in Southern California. He formed Julian Construction in 2001 with the goal of making safer homes, apartments and commercial properties throughout the region. Julian’s partner Shawn Kyles has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with both engineering firms and local departments of building and safety, and is an expert in foundation repair and house bolting.
Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com