If you live in Southern California, then you know what it’s like to live in Earthquake Country. While So Cal residents seem to experience warmer winter weather than anywhere else in the US, there is still a price to pay for living in Los Angeles, in addition to high rents and traffic jams. We have to pay the premium for the tectonic wraths of Mother Nature. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake was reported as the costliest natural disaster in US history, until Hurricane Katrina. However, the USGS reports that the Big One is not overdue. Los Angeles may be setting a new national record and it’s time you did something about it. This is what you can do:

  1. Identify your base type. Most homes in California are built on raised foundations with dirt walkways supported by concrete piers and wooden posts. This is what we call a California basement, as opposed to underground bases found on the East Coast or Midwest. Unfortunately, California basements are not naturally suited to withstand California tremors without proper construction techniques to mitigate earthquakes. Most existing homes do not have the necessary bolting or anchoring to prevent the home from sliding off its foundation in the event of an earthquake. Think of a glass of water on a coffee table. When an earthquake occurs, the glass will slide off the table and break. Your home behaves the same way.
  2. Contact a foundation specialist. Request an inspection for your California basement seismic retrofit. Unless you are a general contractor, it is highly recommended that you do not do it yourself. The gap between the dirt floor and the subfloor of the house is usually minimal, and professional labor is needed to get the job done safely and accurately with industrial tools.
  3. Get an offer. The offer must describe the scope of work, price, duration, and required city permits. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety states that the minimum amount needed to retrofit an average home is $2,500. Pricing depends on the square footage and perimeter length of the home, as well as the height of the home (stories or levels) to determine stud spacing. Taller structures require more bolts, which come with a higher price tag. If your offer is about $2,500, then it might only take a day to get the job done. Otherwise, the job can take up to three days.
  4. Contact your insurer. Show your insurance company proof of earthquake retrofit. This will lower your premium. Most insurance companies won’t even consider you as a customer until earthquake modifications are done. Learn more about earthquake insurance from the California Earthquake Authority.

These are the steps you should take to protect your home and family from earthquakes. Please heed this call to action and call your local reconditioning company for your free inspection now.