Saturday, February 4, 2017

Julian Construction Explains Why You May Need a Caisson Foundation for Your Hillside Property

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, explains why hillside properties will often need a special type of foundation called a caisson foundation.

Julian De La Torre, founder, and owner of Julian Construction explains “The foundation of your home is extremely important. Both Caissons and grade beams support your foundation and are constructed by putting reinforced steel and fresh concrete into a deep shaft in the ground. They are reinforced piles which are cast in holes that are drilled through enough soil and rock layers in order to reach the desired bedrock. The work of caissoning is a process that requires drilling 24” holes into the ground all the way down to a layer of bedrock, and it is particularly critical when houses are located on unstable soil or a hill in order to stop the house from sinking.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your home will be safe in the event of an earthquake. You should rest easy, knowing your home rests on a structurally sound foundation. We can inspect your home to find out what steps are needed to get it there. We offer free foundation inspections for homeowners, and for those with a higher cripple wall, we can review plans or obtain the engineering necessary for your project.”

There are regulations and safety requirements that mandate grade beams and caissons, particularly in additions, new construction, or under circumstances where repair is recommended by soil or structural engineers.

Grade beams and caissons are usually used to set piers for bridges, tall concentrated loads, structural passes, and underpasses. But they are also an important solution to prevent slides for residential homes on hillsides. Caissons are looked at as economical, versatile, and reliable foundation solution for support in Los Angeles.

De La Torre states “If you own a home on a hillside, and particularly if you suspect the house is sliding downwards, it is vital to have the home inspected by a foundation repair expert. Otherwise, your house could slowly sink an inch at a time into the soil.”

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://quakeproofers.com/blog/.

JulianConstruction.com: Storms Can Cause Foundation Damage

by Julian De La Torre

Rain can seriously damage a home’s foundation. If it enters the crawl space, it can cause the wood to warp and decay.

Water can also cause the soil near a foundation to expand and contract. When the soil’s moisture content increases, it will start pressing against the foundation walls. This additional pressure can lead to cracking and bowing. As the water content decreases, it will leave spaces in the soil. Over time, the foundation will start to settle into these gaps. If the settlement is extensive or uneven, it will damage the foundation.

When rainwater collects and pools around a concrete foundation, it can start to penetrate the foundation and break down the concrete. As the concrete deteriorates, cracks will begin to appear. Foundation cracks will weaken a structure.

A heavy rain can wash away the soil around a building and underneath its foundation, which can cause the structure to sink.
Severe downpours can lead to flooding, one of most common types of natural disasters. Many areas throughout the United States, including Southern California, typically experience some type of annual flooding.

A flood will push against the sides of a building, weakening its structure and possibly even separating it from the foundation. The water will also penetrate deep into the ground, moving or breaking foundation pilings.

You should always check the condition of your foundation after a rainstorm. Look for foundation cracks or fissures. Other signs of foundation problems include doors and windows that don’t close properly, bowing walls; sloping, sagging or even floors, and gaps around window frames or exterior doors.

If you do find any indicators that your foundation has been damaged, contact a home foundation repair expert or foundation contractor immediately and request an inspection. Any foundation issues should be addressed quickly to avoid more serious problems and the need for expensive home foundation repairs.

Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair (Los Angeles) and founder of Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com) in Los Angeles, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years (http://julianconstruction.com/services/foundation-repair/). Julian Construction owns its own company and is a "no middlemen" model--no salesmen or subcontractors--you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction and Los Angeles foundation repair at http://losangelesfoundationrepair.us/. See their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6-SXw6Z1c

Monday, January 30, 2017

Julian Construction Starts Soft-Story Retrofit Job in Los Angeles

Building peace of mind, one building at a time.

Thanks to Julian Construction, there will be another earthquake retrofitted building in the city. Julian De La Torre’s company has started a soft-story earthquake retrofit on the 1800 block of South Victoria Ave. in Los Angeles.

Structures, like the one pictured below, are more vulnerable to damage and collapse during an earthquake if the property has not been properly retrofitted.

Buildings most at risk are those that were built before January 1st, 1978 when safer building codes were introduced. Generally, these properties will have a lower level parking garage or a similar open floor space (called a soft-story) below the structure.

A soft-story building is characteristically defined as a multi-story structure with a susceptible first floor. The structure is more vulnerable when there are large windows and doors surrounding the perimeter of the space or areas inside.

Unfortunately, soft-story structures are still quite common in Los Angeles -- it's estimated that tens of thousands of soft-story buildings remain throughout the city. Usually, they can be found in apartment buildings or retail spaces that have been built on top of parking garages.

Other soft-story buildings can resemble office buildings with large ground floor lobbies and street level retail stores with large windows and entryways.

“Past earthquakes have demonstrated that soft story buildings are particularly vulnerable to severe damage or collapse in a major earthquake relative to other building types,” the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (http://www.seaonc.org/soft-story-faq#3 ) reports. “Collapse itself poses a safety risk to occupants.”

Besides the damage that’s incurred when a building collapses, these disasters can also ignite fires which pose major safety risks to occupants and neighboring buildings.

As most Angelinos know, L.A. remains at extreme risk for earthquakes due to the San Andreas and the San Jacinto fault lines which run below the city (link http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-quake-risk-20160317-story.html).

Most soft-story structures are not built to withstand the lateral movement of an earthquake. But, thanks to the retrofitting work of Julian Construction, soft-story buildings can be remedied with a retrofit to minimize the damage that a property and it’s occupants could sustain during a major disaster.

If you’re concerned your building could be a soft-story structure, contact Julian Construction for an inspection.

Julian De La Torre is a trusted expert in foundation repair, house leveling and foundation inspection. De La Torre’s company, Julian Construction ( http://www.julianconstruction.com ), has inspected over 15,000 structures in Los Angeles alone, working alongside engineering firms and local departments of building & safety.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

JulianConstruction.com: Repairing Stucco

By Julian De La Torre

Stucco is a type of plaster that is used in commercial and residential structures to coat wall surfaces and molding. It is made from Portland cement, sand, lime and water.

Because of its strength and durability, it can be applied to exterior as well as interior walls. When used for exterior work, it can withstand many different types of weather conditions, as well as pests. Moisture can also penetrate and pass through stucco, which prevents rot. Stucco is also extremely low-maintenance, and resistant to fire and rust.

Many different types of materials can be coated with stucco, including brick, stone, concrete, metal, wood and adobe. The color of stucco can be changed by adding pigment. Different textures can also be created to make stucco look like wood, brick and stone.

Stucco is usually applied to a surface in one, two or three layers. It's applied wet, and then left to harden. When three layers are used, the first layer is applied with a trowel and then scratched for the second layer. The third layer is the finish coat.

Stucco, oftentimes, needs to be reinforced with plastic or wire mesh to prevent movement.
Similar to other types of building materials, stucco can become damaged over the years. Common problems associated with damage include chipping and cracking, and tiny holes can also appear.
If the stucco on your wall is starting to deteriorate, get it fixed as soon as possible. Water can penetrate cracks and holes, which can end up causing damage to the rest of the building and result in more costly repairs.

The damage may also be a sign of foundation issues like settlement. A foundation repair expert can find out what is causing your stucco problems, do the necessary steps for fixing foundation cracks, and also alert you to any other structural situations that may need to be corrected.


Julian De La Torre, expert foundation contractors in Los Angeles, house leveling & foundation repair Los Angeles and founder of Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com), has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more home foundation inspection, foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years (http://julianconstruction.com/services/foundation-repair/). Julian Construction owns its own company and is a "no middlemen" model--no salesmen or subcontractors--you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home.

See their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6-SXw6Z1c and visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Julian-Construction-99434631315/?fref=ts

Friday, December 2, 2016

Julian Construction Offers Home Foundation Replacement

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation construction and repair company in Los Angeles, offers full home foundation replacement services.

Foundation replacement involves removing the entire current groundwork, putting in fresh wood forms and pouring new concrete, reinforced with steel rebar. Most homes in California do not have a basement, which makes the foundation replacement process that much easier for residents.

There are many reasons why a home would need full foundation replacement. Some homes were built without a concrete and steel foundation, while others were made of un-reinforced masonry, that of brick or stone. In some cases, the original concrete was made of poor quality materials or has been badly deteriorated over the years. If you live in a pre-1930s home, the foundation most likely needs replacement.

"Full foundation replacement can be scary for a home owner. It helps to hire a company like ours that has lots of experience with foundation replacement. Plus, today in most cases, you can continue to live in your home while the foundation replacement process is ongoing. And finally, our company offers financing, which can make the whole process easier," Julian De La Torre, founder and owner of Julian Construction says.

The company has produced a video explaining foundation replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUY77ktTIEk

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, http://www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ and http://quakeproofers.com/.

Julian Construction Offers Earthquake Retrofitting

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, offers earthquake retrofitting, also known as house bolting.

Earthquake retrofitting is the process of firmly attaching a house to its concrete foundation using foundation plates and anchor bolts. If a home is not firmly connected to its foundation in this way, a severe earthquake can cause the home to move off the foundation.

Julian Construction Inc. specializes in foundation bolting and the bracing of cripple walls (short stud walls between the floor and foundation of some houses) by using structural-grade plywood which, if needed, provides greater resistance to earthquakes.

“California is earthquake country. There are multiple earthquakes happening every single day in California. Many of these earthquakes are minor, but we never know when a major quake is going to happen. And when it does, you’d be relieved if you had taken the steps to ensure your home is properly secured to its foundation,” notes Julian De La Torre, founder and owner of Julian Construction.

The company has produced a video explaining house bolting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiJu5fuLLA8

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, http://www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ and http://quakeproofers.com/.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Is Your Home Safe in an Earthquake?

Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, is releasing information to the public on a few types of homes that are especially at risk during an earthquake.

What: Wood Frame Multi-Family Buildings

Risk: Soft-Story Problems. A soft-story residential building is one that has wide open spaces on the ground floor for windows or garage doors, retail or parking space, and housing on upper floors, and built before recent stricter building codes. The risk is that the lower floor can collapse.

What to do: If you live in this type of building and you own it, contact a foundation contractor or structural engineer to handle the retrofitting and ensure it’s safe. If you rent, ask your landlord what has been done in the way of earthquake retrofitting to bring the building up to current codes.

What: Older Single-Family Homes

Risk: Cripple Wall Problems. Older (often pre-WWII) houses are often not properly bolted to their foundations and/or don’t have properly braced cripple walls. (The walls around the crawl space below the structure). In an earthquake the wood frame could come off of its foundation, the cripple walls can lean or collapse, the foundation itself can crack, or the chimney could break at the roof line.

What to do: Earthquake retrofitting can be done by a qualified foundation contractor. This would typically include a combination of anchor bolting and reinforcing the cripple walls to prevent collapse.

What: Mobile Homes

Risk: Mobile homes installed prior to 1995 that are not properly secured to their foundations can shift off their supports during an earthquake.

What to do: There are three common earthquake retrofitting methods that can ensure that mobile homes are properly secured to their foundations (in order of effectiveness and cost):

1. You can have a conventional foundation installed (similar to what’s used for a wood frame home);
2. For new homes or existing homes being relocated, owners are required to install an engineered tiedown system using standard plan approvals; or
3. For existing homes, owners can install a certified earthquake resistant bracing system.


Julian De La Torre, founder and owner of Julian Construction, stated: “You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your home will be safe in the event of an earthquake. You should rest easy, knowing your home rests on a structurally sound foundation. We can inspect your home to find out what steps are needed to get it there. We offer free foundation inspections for homeowners, and for those with a higher cripple wall, we can review plans or obtain the engineering necessary for your project.”

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their websites, http://www.julianconstruction.com, or http://quakeproofers.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/