Considering Los Angeles is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, getting seismic retrofitting for your property should be a foregone conclusion. However, many property owners don’t seem to understand the full scale of its importance until the worst has already occurred. Here’s why you should view earthquake retrofitting as a necessary investment instead of a pesky expense.
Why is earthquake retrofitting important?
If your property was built before 1945, there’s a high chance it wasn’t properly bolted to the foundation. Modern seismic retrofitting codes dictate that structures need to be bolted down to the foundation with “anchor bolts” to make them resistant to seismic activities. Buildings that haven’t been bolted down are more likely to slide off the foundation if a strong earthquake hits. No such guarantees with older structures.
That said, even if your building was built after 1945, it never hurts to double-check how it has been seismically retrofitted and if the retrofit fits current guidelines and is structurally sound and able to withstand high seismic activities.
Proper earthquake retrofitting is a reliable way to make your property more structurally sound and enhance its safety. Whether a private or commercial property, it’s a sound investment to:
- Ensure everybody is safe if high seismic activity suddenly occurs
- Avoid further financial problems down the line
How is earthquake retrofitting done?
Earthquake retrofitting is unique to every structure. Multiple factors come into play when determining what needs to be done to maintain the foundation integrity in case of high seismic activity. These factors include:
- Where the structure is located: valley, hill, near a body of water, etc.
- What is the current condition of the foundation: whether it’s structurally integral or if there’s damage that needs to be dealt with first
- What is the current condition of the structure: whether there’s damage to walls, columns, frames, etc.
- What’s the setting condition: if there’s old, undealt damage like uneven setting caused by extreme weather, etc.
- Previous shoddy work that needs to be dealt with: if the building has already been seismically retrofitted, but the retrofit job was done poorly and cannot maintain the foundation integrity in case of high seismic activity
Professionals who provide earthquake retrofitting need to consider these (and other) factors when coming up with the retrofitting plan for your property. Unless there’s massive damage to the structure, jobs like installing an earthquake brace bolt or getting a minor foundation repair can be done by skilled crews without having you vacate the premises!
What does earthquake retrofitting cost?
Since each job is individual, it’s hard to give an estimate for earthquake retrofitting without doing the assessment first. But it costs a lot less than fixing major structural damage.
Luckily, the state of California takes seismic safety seriously, and some programs help cover the cost! Check if you qualify for state assistance, like the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program!
Has what you’ve learned from this article motivated you to reduce the potential damage earthquakes can cause to your property? With over 50 years of experience handling foundation issues, Seismic Safety has accumulated considerable expertise in earthquake retrofitting Los Angeles properties!
Suppose you’re considering getting a foundation repair service or need someone who can seamlessly handle earthquake-resistant foundation buildings in Los Angeles. In that case, Seismic Safety might be just what you’re looking for!