House Bolting & Earthquake Retrofitting in Los Angeles

Protect Your Home With Earthquake Retrofitting

If you live in Los Angeles or in another region that experiences earthquakes periodically, you need to consider house bolting. This technique is a form of earthquake retrofitting that helps stabilize your home making it safer and less likely to experience damage during seismic activity. Older homes and buildings can be improved now that our understanding of how earthquakes affect buildings using advanced construction methods. While home insurance will usually cover the cost to rebuild, why go through all of the stress and frustration of having your home and all of your belongings destroyed when you can protect it with earthquake retrofitting measures.


When an earthquake hits it can affect your home in three ways:


  • Sliding – the home slides off of the foundation

  • Racking – the walls buckle and collapse

  • Overturning – the home lifts off of the foundation


Each one of these can cause severe damage to your home or business possibly resulting the building being forced to be demolished. By house bolting and earthquake retrofitting you can help prevent the destruction of your home and property. There are three main ways to retrofit a building for earthquakes, these include: holdown brackets, cripple wall bracing and foundation bolting.


Holdown Brackets

This type of earthquake retrofitting procedure is used to directly connect the wall framing to the foundation to increase resistance. Some buildings require holdown brackets by themselves or in addition to other retrofitting methods. These are right-angle metal brackets that connect to framing in the foundation by bolts and designed to protect against rolling or overturning during earthquakes.


Cripple Wall Bracing

This type of earthquake retrofitting procedure is a structural upgrade using S-1 plywood with ventilation holes. Many buildings have a short wood frame in the crawl space area and is also referred to as a cripple wall. When this section collapses during an earthquake the main floor can drop to the ground and slide off of the foundation. Cripple wall bracing helps reinforce this critical part of a building using a strong, stiff wall called a shear wall. The retrofit uses plywood panels with vent holes, double studding and blocking to institute load transfer and reinforce the home.


Foundation Bolting

This type of earthquake retrofitting procedure uses galvanized foundation bolts with square plate washers to increase the holding strength. It helps enhance the connection between the building foundation and the wood frame. A piece of wood is added on top of the foundation and the bolts and put through the wood into the concrete to reinforce it. The placement of the foundation bolts is important as it improves the structural integrity and reduces the stress placed on the house by any seismic activity.


If you own an older building in an earthquake zone, be sure to contact Urbane Builders as we specialize in earthquake retrofitting. They will provide a thorough assessment of your building and determine if holdown brackets, cripple wall bracing or foundation bolting makes the most sense for your home or business. You will rest better knowing that your building is secure just in case something happens in the future.