There are several characteristics about the Los Angeles area that should be considered when dealing with your home foundations and Foundation Repair. First off, the area is prone to intermittent rains in the winter time that can cause flooding and water damage to foundations and the surrounding yard and cement. This means, to save costs down the line, proper drainage and waterproofing are pertinent. A second characteristic of Los Angeles is the expansive soil. Expansive soil is soil that will expand and contract with temperature differences and moisture differences. Once again to save money in the long run, installing proper drainage and proper foundation support, such as underpinning, bolting, sister foundation and in some cases, house leveling, will help to prevent serious settling of and damage to your home.
Foundation Materials and methods:
Drainage Systems – There are many types of outdoor and underground drainage systems that can offer the best protection to your home from flooding, water damage and settling of the earth around your home. Water pooling around the foundation can cause the naturally expansive soil underneath your home to settle, therefore creating weakness to your foundation and settling and moving of your home. This structural weakness can lead to expensive and dangerous damage down the line. Improper drainage can also allow water to seep into the house creating water damage weakening the foundation and causing dangerous mold problems.
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Foundation Underpinning Support – Underpinning Retrofit probably offers the best balance of strength with sustainability. An Underpinning Retrofit supports the foundation where it is weak, by setting the foundation upon concrete pads instead of directly on the expansive soil known to Southern California. This will prevent against the natural landscape harming the house as it would without these supports.
House Bolting – A foundation bolting, otherwise known as an Earthquake Retrofit, is the most common style of reinforcement installation for foundations. This is due to its cost efficiency (most economical option) and good durability. Foundation Bolting is a process where the house itself is bolted directly to the foundation. It is simple and less invasive than Underpinning, thus another reason making it the most common style of Earthquake Retrofitting.
Sister Foundation – A Sister Foundation offers a very strong reinforcement at a lower cost than replacing the entire foundation. A Sister Foundation is installed parallel along side the existing foundation by digging trenches, phase by phase, a new concrete foundation system (the Sister Foundation) is then built adjacent to the existing foundation and they are reinforced and connected with Wood Blocks and Framing Anchors. Again, this is a massive undertaking, but still a more economic and still less invasive solution than a full foundation replacement.
House Leveling – Over time the soil under the foundation will settle, usually at different rates in different areas, causing the floor to become uneven. It is necessary to raise the house, to install the necessary piers and supports and reattach the foundation. This can be very tricky work, but our experience and expertise can help you correct sagging floors and the effects of foundation damage as much as possible while preventing the more expensive damage. A slab floor leveling is slightly different, but much more simple, comprising most often of Self-Leveling Concrete Overlays.
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Whatever the case may be, we at California Foundation Works can solve your foundation issues and make your home safe. Please call us today at 323-418-2239 for a free* foundation inspection!