Thursday, July 20, 2017

Budget Cuts May Kill California’s Earthquake Warning System



The early earthquake warning system, which has received approval from elected officials in both parties, may be facing another bump in the road.

The system, which was set for limited release early next year, is on President Trump’s chopping block, thanks to newly proposed budget cuts.

Luckily, both Republicans and Democrats have rallied behind the early earthquake warning system and are working to save it.

Both parties are asking for a reversal of these budget cuts, and requesting that Congress disregards President Trump’s latest budget proposals.

Thanks to a House of Representatives subcommittee, Congress is expected to approve a new budget plan that would continue funding for California's early earthquake warning system.

In May, congress appointed $10.2 million for the warning system’s present budget year … and President Trump has allocated zero dollars for next year’s budget.

The early earthquake warning system is estimated to cost $16.5 million a year to run and operate and a total of $38.2 million to build.

The earthquake warning system could give as much as a minute’s notice before the shaking of a major quake makes its way to densely populated cities and public areas.

The system would allow places like classrooms, offices, malls, amusement parks, hospitals, police stations and fire stations to have access to these alerts, saving many more lives with extra seconds to drop and cover.

Other countries around the world have already implemented similar earthquake warning systems, like Mexico and Japan.

For now, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prepare for the next “Big One.”

“The Big One is coming,” USGS research geophysicist Ken Hudnut told the L.A. Times. “The threat of the Big One on the southern San Andreas fault – the Coachella segment, where they have the big concerts down near palm springs – that threat is especially real.”

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles earthquake retrofitting, foundation inspection, foundation repair and foundation replacement. As the founder of Julian Construction, Julian and his company have inspected over 15,000 structures.

Julian Construction routinely works with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more seismic retrofit work in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

Everything You Need to Know About Earthquake Retrofitting

earthquake damage

As a California resident, you know that earthquakes pose a real threat.

As we saw with the devastating Northridge earthquake of 1994, large seismic quakes can cause serious damage to buildings and homes. Thanks to advances in structural engineering, earthquake retrofitting is one of the most efficient ways to prevent massive damage to your home – injuries and even death – in the event of a massive earthquake.

When the earth shakes, buildings are more likely to be displaced from their concrete foundation or collapse if they are not properly secured to the ground.

Earthquake retrofitting increases a building or home’s resistance to this side-to-side motion, thus incurring less damage and destruction.

There are few measures you can implement to retrofit a structure, depending on the type of construction of the building needing reinforcing.

Foundation bolting is when bolts are added, either with or without plates, to the existing wooden framing known as a sill plate. Bolts are typically attached to the wood that sits on top of the concrete. Whether the foundation is lacking bolts or if the older existing bolts are already in place and in good shape -- but too far apart -- careful installation of new foundation bolts will add strength to the structure. During the Northridge earthquake, homes lacking foundation bolts slid off their foundations and collapsed.

Cripple wall bracing is typically used to retrofit structures that have a wood-frame foundation in addition to a concrete foundation. The crawl space area located under the property and can be just a few inches in height to a few feet, and is the area below where the floor of the home is connected to its foundation. In large earthquakes, cripple wall failure was the main source of structural damage causing the first floor of a building to collapse to the ground level. During a retrofit, the cripple wall is braced to keep it from giving out during a quake. By adding structural grade plywood framing to the wood framed foundation (known as a shear wall) the house will be able to withstand the side-to-side or back-and-forth shaking of an earthquake.

Soft story retrofits are typically used on multi-family apartment structures, condominiums and homes that have a large open space, like a tuck-under parking, located below the first floor living area.

They’re referred to as “soft stories” because there is not enough reinforcement to protect the structure from the movement of an earthquake. In some soft story retrofits, a contractor will install plywood to brace the walls or install a steel moment frame to secure the area.

If your home was built prior to 1950, there’s a good chance your foundation is not seismically sound. Therefore, it’s important to contact a foundation specialist to inspect the area.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

New Maps Show Major Fault Lines Run Under L.A.’s Most Expensive Real Estate

beverly hills
New fault boundaries have raised concerns for some of the priciest parts of Los Angeles.

According to new fault maps – which were released on Thursday – Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Westwood and Century City have been included in the Newport-Inglewood fault zone.

While this isn’t news for certain areas of the Westside, the remapped fault boundaries affect some of the highest-priced real estate in L.A. and, as a result, could thwart future development of those areas because building on a fault line is restricted.

“It is important to not build on faults,” Tim Dawson, senior engineering geologist for the California Geological Survey, told the L.A. Times.

“Building foundations will tend to break when the earth moves beneath them, damaging the building in the process.”

This is the first time the California Geological Survey has released official maps of these earthquake fault lines, connecting the Hollywood fault (which runs under Hollywood and Beverly Hills) to the Newport-Inglewood fault (which runs through Culver City, Pico-Robertson and Mid City).

While the new fault boundaries could halt future development of these areas, it will not affect the current structures that already sit on or along these fault lines.

Buildings that are constructed on fault lines have a much higher risk of damage or collapse in the event of an earthquake.

The remapping of these fault lines is part of Los Angeles’ earthquake safety initiative, aiming to create more seismically safe structures and earthquake awareness throughout the city.

Once these fault maps have been finalized, developers will need to hire a geologist to determine the viability of certain parts of Los Angeles before starting construction on land near or directly on these faults.

“Extra precautions should be taken to ensure new buildings are not located on the trace of an active fault,” Dawson stressed. “The purpose of the investigation is to identify if there are active faults present, and if there are, then they must be avoided.”

If your home was built prior to 1950, there’s a good chance your foundation is not seismically sound. Therefore, it’s important to contact a foundation specialist to inspect the area.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Raymond Fault Line Creates New Fears

A new section of the Raymond fault line, which runs through Los Angeles’ northeast areas, has been redefined.

The active fault, which caused the 4.9 earthquake in Pasadena back in 1988, has now been re-mapped extending to areas West of its original location.

The California Geological Survey sent out a revised map of the Raymond fault, adding more areas of Los Angeles like Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Highland Park within its zone.

Not only has the active area already released  fairly large earthquakes, seismologists estimate the fault line is capable of producing a size 7 quake.

If such an event occurred, we could see massive damage, injury and even death in and around northeast areas of Los Angeles and, now, locations west of the original fault zone. Seismologists also argue that such an earthquake could set off the Hollywood fault, adding more chaos to some of L.A.’s most densely populated areas.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles is committed to improving earthquake safety. New laws and regulations have ensured that older buildings throughout the city undergo retrofits and an early earthquake warning system is close to completion.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.





Thursday, May 4, 2017

Julian Construction Offers Underpinning

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company, is offering underpinning in the Los Angeles area.

Underpinning is the method used to strengthen and stabilize the foundation of a structure, provide increased depth or to repair a faulty foundation. Underpinning is installed beneath your foundation to provide additional support to your home. Homeowners may choose this method if they are planning to add stories onto their existing structure or if their foundation has been damaged. When cracks are visible and wider than ¼ inch, underpinning is usually needed.

According to Julian Construction, there are various reasons for foundation underpinning, including to support the additional loads of a second-story addition. In some cases, the existing foundation has settled or rotated at certain points, and in other cases the interior configuration is modified, resulting in the removal or change of load-bearing walls.

“They arrived on time and completed the job just as they described. They handled everything from start to finish including permit and final inspection with the city. I did my homework before selecting a company to do this project and when they came out for the estimate, I knew I had found the right company for the job,” Eileen, a past client of Julian Construction, stated.

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middleman” model – no salesman, 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://foundationrepairforlosangeles.com/blog/.

Julian Construction: Three Ways to Protect Your Foundation as Seasons Change

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company, is advising the public on how to protect their foundation during each season.

As the seasons change from Winter to Summer, it’s important to check your home foundation for any signs of damage. Julian Construction says when the foundation is left unchecked and uncorrected, breaks or cracks in the foundation can lead to additional cost and can pose a risk to your structure. There are specific steps you can take to protect your foundation, including:

Check for proper drainage: To make sure rain is kept away from your foundation, check for proper and working gutters. You may find that there is debris or part of the gutter has fallen. Make sure to fix these if found. Additionally, it’s important for the drains to be pointed away from the home.

Water your soil: When it starts to become dry during the Summer, make sure to keep your soil watered. Dry soil can lead to cracking and cause foundation settlement. However, avoid excessive watering as overly wet soil can cause unwanted damage to your foundation.

Check the grading of soil: Look to see where the soil is directing your water. If it’s directing water toward your foundation, using a shovel to modify it can be an easy solution.

While taking steps to protect your foundation can help prevent future damage, sometimes a foundation will need to be repaired or replaced. “There are many good reasons for foundation replacement. Some homes were built without a steel and concrete 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. At Julian Construction, we’re able to repair and install new foundations,” says founder, Julian De La Torre.

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middleman” model – no salesman, 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://foundationreplacementlosangeles.com/

JulianConstruction.com: Choosing a Foundation Repair Contractor

By Julian De La Torre

Moisture, poor soil conditions and extreme weather can damage a foundation. Indicators of foundation problems include sticky doors and windows, wall cracks and sloping floors.

There are many ways to fix a foundation. Filling foundation cracks is always a good first step, but other types of repair may also be needed, including additional support like bolts, piles and piers.

A foundation repair contractor is the best person to resolve foundation issues. Not only will a foundation expert have the knowledge and skills to properly repair the foundation, he’ll also have the right equipment.

Choosing a good foundation specialist is important. Here are some tips on how to hire the best person for the job:

1. Make sure the contractor is licensed. Licensing requirements include both experience and know-how.
2. A professional foundation repair contractor should also be licensed and bonded.
3. Check how long the contractor has been working in your area or region. A local contractor will know the building codes for your location, and what could be causing the problem you are having with your foundation (weather, soil conditions, etc.).
4. Ask how long the contractor has specifically been doing foundation repair work.
5. The contractor you hire should also have experience in all areas of foundation repair.
6. An experienced foundation contractor will also be able to find the source of the problem and discuss all of your repair options.

When hiring a foundation repair contractor, ask for a proposal detailing all of the work that will need to done, along with pricing. When reviewing the proposal, look for any hidden fees or charges. If you get more than one proposal and there are significant differences between bids, keep asking questions until you understand why.

And remember to ask for references. When you contact former customers, ask them about the quality of the work that was done and if they were happy with the results.

Following these simple steps when hiring a contractor will ensure your foundation is repaired properly.


Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation repair and foundation contractors (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 on the importance of foundation repair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzSlYxjZ6Q0&t=2s