Not all Americans worry about the condition of the foundation of their homes; however, it is something that all Southern Californian homeowners are concerned about. Having experienced earthquakes and seen first-hand devastation, California residents are particularly affected by the potential for another big earthquake in the years to come. Homes that were built over two decades ago were not built by the same regulatory standards that builders abide by today. Our homes are likely our largest investments, and it can be stressful wondering if your home with withstand the next “big one.” You may consider strengthening your home’s foundation to better safeguard your investment. Foundational inspections are the best way to be sure that your home will withstand an earthquake, because sometimes the obvious symptoms of faulty foundations are not observable until after a significant earthquake hits. If you think you might need foundational repair, here are some of the signs and symptoms you should look for:
Water damage is one of the telltale signs of earthquake damage to a home’s foundation. If the foundation is in need of repair, you may notice significant peeling of paint in areas where water seeps through hairline fissures, or the accumulation of mold in areas where water or condensation is collecting. Water damage can be costly to repair—especially if the source of the issue goes unaddressed. Foundational issues don’t always cause water damage, and water damage isn’t always the result of foundational issues; however, it’s best to have a thorough inspection performed if your home has experienced water damage.
Ceiling or Floor Deformation
Perhaps one of the most concerning side affects of earthquake foundational damage is the observable symptoms in the interior structure of your home. Sagging ceilings and floors, floorboards coming up or cracking, and other structural shifts like uneven walls and doorways are especially concerning to homeowners. It is important to have professional builders check out these symptoms to determine how to fix the source of the problem in the foundation. Unfortunately, these problems will only accumulate over time and worsen, becoming more costly to repair. By fixing foundational issues, you will protect your investment and save money in repair costs down the road.
Cracks or Fissures
If your home has substantial foundational damage, you may notice that the foundation itself appears cracked in places. Exterior cracks can spread through hairline fractures and cause water damage in rainy seasons or can accumulate mold from seeping condensation. A foundation in this state will likely crumble in the event of a large earthquake. You may also notice cracks or fissures in walls and ceilings, particularly stemming from ceiling corners. Cracks around doorways can be caused by slamming doors, but nonetheless should be inspected.
Door and Window Fit Issues
Another sign that you may have foundational issues to deal with is that the doors and windows do not properly fit in their frames. When the earth moves during an earthquake, it causes walls and door frames to shift. Garage doors are especially susceptible to frame warping and damage because they usually lack proper structural support. When your garage door risks falling in the event of an earthquake, it poses serious danger to anyone nearby. Garage doors should be inspected and reinforced by professional builders, and the supporting foundation must also be inspected to prevent further warping or damage.
How We Can Help
The professionals at Troy Builders have decades of experience in the contracting and building, specializing in foundational reinforcement and repair. Serving the most infamous earthquake-affected areas near Tarzana including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Long Beach and Woodland Hills, CA, we have seen every imaginable foundational issue in the book. We are skilled at what we do, and we take pride in our ability to help families safeguard their futures. We employ various solutions to meet the specific needs of the individuals we serve, and we are happy to conduct inspections for prospective clients in the nearby areas. For more information about how we can help improve your home’s foundation and prepare it for the next earthquake, contact us directly. We look forward to hearing from you!