The RemodelMe Way
Southern California and Los Angeles, in particular, represents one of the most seismically active locations on the planet. With over 15,000 known fault lines, foundation bolting (sometimes referred to as house bolting) gives Los Angeles homeowners peace of mind that their home is protected against the potentially disastrous structural damage caused by earthquakes and tremors.
What is foundation bolting?
Simply put, foundation bolting is a process whereby your house is “bolted” into your concrete foundation. During an earthquake, side-to-side movement coupled with the jerking up and down motions can cause a home to become detached from its foundation.
During the deadly Northridge earthquake of 1994, thousands of unbolted homes were either damaged or destroyed. Foundation bolting gives your home the extra stability required to minimize any damage caused by an earthquake by securing it into place.
How does foundation bolting work?
There are two primary methods for foundation bolting. The first method requires our team to secure your mudsill to the foundation by using mechanical expansion bolts. However, if your concrete has already sustained damage, we may determine that it would be unsuitable for an expanding bolt tip. If you have a fragile foundation, we can also secure it with epoxy bolts, which work on the principle of adhesion rather than expansion.
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How do we assess homes before foundation bolting?
Each home has unique foundational features that determine the most suitable bolting method and the potential costs of the work. For example, we will need to assess the condition of the washers on the original foundation bolts before we begin your project. At that time, we evaluate whether they need replacing with modern, thicker counterparts.
Additional variables that could have a factor on your foundation’s integrity include:
- The structure’s physical location (e.g., hillside, valley floor, near a river basin)
- The current condition of the foundation and structure
- Previously un-repaired damage from earthquakes
- Poorly carried out earthquake retrofitting in the past
- Poor original home construction
Is foundation bolting mandatory?
For homeowners in Los Angeles, city law does dictate that certain buildings must meet specified earthquake safety standards (including foundation bolting). At this moment in time, that only applies to buildings containing three dwellings or more. However, that doesn’t mean that you should put off undertaking this easy, quick, and inexpensive earthquake protection for your home! Your bolting project can produce significant savings (as much as 25%) on your earthquake insurance premiums. This allows the work to pay for itself over time.
If you own a home that was constructed before 1980, you are likely more vulnerable to structural damage. Additionally, if your building survived a previous earthquake, there may be several weaknesses in the foundation that are invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to take your chances! If you’re considering foundation bolting, give us a call and we would be happy to discuss your options.
Choosing Your Foundation Contractor
Selecting a foundation bolting contractor is a big decision! The work we’ll perform has the potential to impact your home for decades to come, so it’s natural that you’ll want to ensure you’re working with qualified professionals.
At RemodelMe, we think it’s important that you feel comfortable – not only with the end result of our work but also throughout the remodeling process. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Lastly, we can provide all of the following credentials upon request, allowing you to start your remodeling project with trust!