Protect Your Home From Earthquakes With a Retrofitting Company

retrofitting company Los Angeles

A retrofitting company Los Angeles can help protect your home or building from natural calamities, including earthquakes. If you own a structure in California that was built before 1978 you may be legally required to retrofit it to meet current seismic codes.

Under Ordinance 183893 and 184081, owners of soft story buildings that were constructed before 1978 are required to complete a retrofit within seven years.

Seismic Strengthening

The city of Los Angeles is located in one of the most seismically active areas of the world. As a result, there is a substantial risk of a major earthquake along with frequent smaller tremors. As such, it is essential for homeowners to make sure they have plans in place to protect their properties and keep them intact during an earthquake.

A retrofitting company in Los Angeles is able to offer a variety of services to help you determine the best type of earthquake strengthening for your home. This includes identifying whether you have a raised foundation house, a stem-wall house or a soft story house.

Raised foundation older houses are particularly vulnerable to damage from shaking because they were not built with the ability to resist movement and shift off of their foundations during an earthquake. These homes were also typically constructed before modern building codes took effect.

Stem-wall older houses are another type of home that may require retrofitting to protect them from severe earthquake shaking. These homes are often constructed on steep slopes or hillsides and the structural elements of the walls can be especially susceptible to shaking.

Generally, the retrofitting process involves installing engineered metal connectors and other reinforcement materials at key stress points throughout your home’s structure. These can include hold downs, anchor bolts and strap ties as well as wood blocking and structural sheathing.

These materials can increase the strength of the foundation wall and reduce the likelihood that it will collide with the ground floor when an earthquake occurs. Additionally, they can help prevent a foundation from shifting off its supporting pilings and becoming a potential sinking or settling hole.

Many homeowners choose to invest in a home earthquake retrofit because it can significantly reduce the chances of their homes falling off their foundations or sliding off their sides when an earthquake strikes. This can save them tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs and help them avoid losing their home during an earthquake.

Seismic retrofitting is not required by law in California but it can be a very wise investment for many reasons. It can prevent a lot of damage and even save lives if it is done in time. It can also lower a property’s insurance rates.

Foundation Bolting

Foundation bolting, also known as anchor bolting, is a type of retrofitting that firmly connects a home’s concrete footing and the framing within the substructure. This prevents the home from moving out of place during earthquakes or other natural disasters.

Foundation Bolting Los Angeles offers a wide range of house bolting services to help homeowners with their safety needs. They offer a free inspection for homes that need foundation bolting and can help them determine which type of foundation bolts will work best for their building.

Most older homes have a raised foundation that is susceptible to sagging and sliding out of place during an earthquake. This can cause serious damage to a home.

The bolting process consists of adding metal bolts and plates to the concrete footing and framing in the substructure of a home’s foundation. The metals firmly attach the structure to the concrete foundation and ensure that it will stay connected during an earthquake or other major event.

There are two types of foundation bolts: expansion type and epoxy-set. The epoxy-set type is longer than the expansion type and can be inserted deeper into the concrete to improve its ability to hold up to the lateral movement of a quake.

Epoxy-set foundation bolts are often used in older houses where the concrete is weaker than it would be with expansion type foundation bolts. They are more expensive to install, but they can improve the strength of a home’s foundation.

Besides bolting, other forms of retrofitting can strengthen a home’s foundation for a better chance of surviving an earthquake. These include Simpson mudsill plates, plywood shear bracing and angle iron struts.

These techniques are especially effective for homes with weak cripple walls and places where the floor rests directly on the foundation. They can be especially useful for hillside homes, where the combination of these features puts them at increased risk for sagging.

Aside from these common foundation retrofitting methods, some buildings also require the installation of a concrete shear wall to resist the movement of a quake. This can also be a more cost-effective approach for strengthening a home’s foundation, as shear walls are relatively inexpensive to install.

Soft Story Retrofitting

Soft story retrofitting is a process that can be performed on older buildings to help them resist earthquake damage. The Los Angeles area is prone to earthquakes, and it’s important to take steps to protect your building from potential collapse and damage.

The city of Los Angeles has established a mandatory soft story retrofitting program that helps minimize the risk of structural damage to buildings during seismic activity. This program has been implemented under ordinances 183893 and 184081, and it is designed to ensure the safety of people living in buildings that may be vulnerable to earthquake damage.

One of the most common types of structures that require soft story retrofitting is a multi-story apartment building with ground floor parking or other similar open spaces. These are known as “tuck-under” parking garages, and they often were built to outdated building standards that make them prone to structural damage during an earthquake.

These buildings are particularly prone to collapse because their first floors are less rigid than the floors above them. This makes them susceptible to damage during an earthquake and may even lead to the complete collapse of the entire structure.

If your home is part of this type of property, you will need to find a qualified soft story retrofitting company. The firm will conduct a site assessment of your house and identify any areas that need to be strengthened.

Based on this information, they will provide a detailed plan that outlines all of the necessary steps to ensure your building is in compliance with the city’s earthquake retrofitting regulations. They will also work with you to secure any permits that are required and get the project started.

The length of time it takes to complete your building’s soft story retrofit will depend on several factors, including the size and type of the structure. However, it’s generally possible to complete the work within a few weeks.

As the deadlines for the soft story retrofitting program near, you should start planning to have your building inspected and potentially retrofitted as soon as possible. This will give you the best chance of minimizing damage to your property in case of an earthquake and will help prevent the loss of your investment.


Whether you’re selling or buying, a retrofitting company Los Angeles can perform the inspections necessary to help ensure your new property meets the local building codes. From plumbing and electrical to roofs, foundations and more, a licensed inspector will make sure your home or business is up to date.

A general physical inspection of your property is the simplest and most cost-effective way to check for any deficiencies, such as a crack or leak in the roof, window or door frames, or plumbing fixtures. It also provides an opportunity to identify any major issues that may affect the sale of your home or the safety of your family and pets.

The inspector will then compile a report that explains the condition of your home or building and any recommended repairs. This will give you a heads up on any problems, and allow you to decide how best to address them prior to escrow.

Most importantly, a quality inspection will result in you getting a Certificate of Compliance that is ready to file with LADWP as part of your paperwork for selling your home or getting an insurance quote. These certificates are essential for you to get the most out of your real estate transaction and protect your investment.

In addition to the general physical inspections, a retrofitting company Los Angeles may offer other specialty inspections that are important for your particular property. For example, a hillside retaining wall inspection can be crucial for ensuring the integrity of your foundation as well as making sure you can use as much of the property for construction as possible.

For any retrofitting project that requires a thorough inspection, you can’t go wrong with the team at Alpha Structural, Inc. Their experience in earthquake retrofitting makes them one of the top choices for bringing your property up to today’s strict building codes.