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Foundation Repair for Los Angeles


Foundation Works Founder - Tom Pelletier
Foundation Works Founder and Owner Tom Pelletier
Note from the Founder

Before detailing out the various repair and replacement methods we employ, I want you to assure you that we will always use the most appropriate techniques for each individual foundation issue. Our intent is always to protect the home and extend the useful life of a foundation system if at all possible. There are several ways to do this, many of which are itemized below.

Unfortunately, it’s easy for someone without good judgment to call for exaggerated repairs and even replacement. We choose instead to perform an exhaustive inspection on each foundation and write a specific prescription that will eliminate the worst problems and offenses and essentially turn the worst areas of the foundation system into the best areas. More times than not, the spirit of this approach is most fitting and on those occasions where no amount of repairs alone will suffice, we are of course fully equipped to provide replacement of part of or all of a foundation, if that is the only option. We know you are counting on us for an accurate, thorough evaluation and an appropriate plan of correction. And that is exactly what we will provide you after having inspected your home!

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Foundation Inspections

foundation inspectionOur initial service starts with the performance of a detailed specialty inspection in order to determine the condition of the foundation on a single family home or a multi-family building. This involves a thorough inspection of not only the foundation area itself, but also the exterior perimeter and interior of the building as well.

foundation inspectionThe interior of the building gives many clues of what has, is or may be occurring underneath. The exterior inspection is most commonly concerned with any potential moisture issues that could adversely affect the foundation system. Having viewed the building interior and exterior, our inspector then has a true relative perspective so that when he is under the house, key areas of concern can be isolated in relation to his interior and exterior findings.

By viewing a building from all three of these perspectives (interior, exterior, and underneath), we are able to achieve a level of certainty that allows us to then write a corrective prescription that is most appropriate to that particular building.

foundation inspectionThat information is provided to the client in the form of what we call a "Summary of Findings." This is a narrative explanation that details our observations, our advised correction and a precise cost for us to do the work should we be requested to do that at a later date. We deliver this summary to the client via e-mail, usually the next business day following the actual inspection.

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Inspections for Insurance Compliance

Foundation Inspection Report, Los Angeles CAWe also perform inspections to comply with insurance forms requesting "bolting status." We will come to your home and inspect the foundation regarding the status of the bolting when requested by you on behalf of your insurance company. We are authorized to fill out the insurance company provided forms and if any work is needed to bring your home into compliance, we can perform that work as well.

Additionally, we will also provide a "Summary of Findings" as detailed in the last paragraph of the section above entitled "Foundation Inspections."

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House Bolting (Seismic Retrofitting)

house boltingSeismic retrofitting is the process of adding additional hardware, plywood, and framing lumber to the foundation area of a building in a way that heightens its readiness and helps protect it during seismic activity. There are very specific methods of how this is to be done and unfortunately many wrong ways to do it as well! If your house is built later than 1936, it almost certainly has some level of "bolting" in place from when it was first built. Standards have of course evolved tremendously since then (imagine the safety difference in a 1936 car compared to a current one!) and this is where seismic retrofitting (bolting) comes in. It is employing current structural knowledge into an otherwise antiquated situation to improve its overall ability to withstand earthquake movement and to help protect you from catastrophic loss.

We perform full seismic retrofitting ("house bolting") to current standards. The exact specifications of this work can be viewed directly via the City of Los Angeles website at www.ladbs.org. Even if you do not live in Los Angeles itself, all cities that we work in recognize the Los Angeles standards and accept them on all work we perform. This includes, but is not limited to, Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Culver City. Other cities also apply, though these are the areas we service most often.
We also perform corrections of incorrectly performed or antiquated bolting jobs in order to help protect those Old Boltinghomes from future earthquakes. (Statistic: 85% of homes within various cities of Los Angeles county that have been "bolted" since the 1994 Northridge earthquake had the work performed sub-standardly when it was done.)

Therefore, only about 15% of the inspections we perform find houses to be properly and fully retrofitted. This includes houses that have been "retrofitted" after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. If your foundation retrofit is sub-standard in some way, we will be able to provide you a recipe of correction to resolve that deficiency and help protect your home from loss in any future earthquakes.

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Foundation Repairs

The following is a menu of the various techniques that we most often employ. Foundations are very much like people in that the basics of how they are put together are pretty similar one to the next, yet each has its own peculiarities and, as they age, each requires a different level of remedial repair. We’ve listed here a sampling of the most commonly employed techniques that bring needed relief to aging or otherwise troubled foundation systems.

  1. Remedial repairs of cracked, settled, shifted, rotated and/or deteriorated sections of concrete perimeter foundation walls.
  2. Any type of post/pier issues (shifted, deteriorated, cracked, settled, "over shimmed," undersized, etc.)
  3. Repair of wood damaged framing/structural components in the foundation system area.
  4. Floor leveling performed on a case-by-case basis.
  5. In instances where a crawl space has debris in it that will limit our ability to perform any of the above tasks, we will also remove and haul away past debris that has been left in the space (we, of course, always remove all debris created during the course of our work).

Creating additional support systems in key locations of the foundation area to accommodate existing structural deficiencies and further protect your home.

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Partial or Full Replacements

Foundation Replacement - Los Angeles CaliforniaThere are times when despite any amount of creative solutions to foundation repair, a foundation is simply at the end of its service life. In such an instance, we will perform replacement of any failed portions of a foundation, including the concrete, brick or stone foundation in its entirety if needed, in order to help protect your home from loss during future seismic activity.

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We provide foundation repair, foundation inspection, house bolting, foundation upgrades and seismic retrofitting services for the following areas:
Los Angeles CA West Hollywood Beverly Hills CA Burbank CA Glendale CA Pasadena CA La Cresenta CA
Culver City CA San Fernando Valley La Canada CA Sunland - Tujunga Monrovia CA Alhambra CA Sierra Madre CA
Arcadia CA San Marino CA Altadena CA Marina Del Rey Montrose CA Azusa - Glendora