Earth quake is a reality and it can happen anytime. Did you know?

 What level of retrofit is required?

Pursuant to LABC Section 3405.3, the damaged bearing walls shall be repaired to support the dead and live load combinations of the current Code. Other floor joists, walls, and foundations that support loads from the repaired bearing walls are required to be repaired and replaced when not capable of supporting the dead plus current live load combination.

 Find out how Foundation Technology can assist you to meet the requirements and pass your evaluation with flying colors!

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 To  learn  more  about  Foundation  Technology  and  the  services  we  offer Visit us on line at: https://foundationtechnology.com/ or call: 855.650.2211

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Earth quake is a reality and it can happen anytime. Did you know?

The following example illustrates how to determine if a newer building, constructed to the current Code, has sustained substantial structural damage and determine repair requirements for earthquake damaged building. The building does NOT require retrofitting.

Example 4 – Modern Building with Substantial Structural Damage: A timber single-family- dwelling built in 2015 wood shear walls experienced structural cracking of several plywood shear walls on the first floor. The engineer’s report identified the damaged wall will reduce the cumulative strength of the lateral load resisting system by 25%. The engineer’s evaluation shows that the pre- damaged building strength was compliant with the current Code.

 Is there Substantial Structural Damage?

Part 2 of the definition of Substantial Structural Damage for “All Other Buildings” needs to be used for a timber building. The report concluded the damaged walls constitutes more than 20% of the pre-damaged condition of the lateral force resisting system in the first story. Therefore, the damage to the building is Substantial Structural Damage.

 Is retrofit required?

As per LABC Section 3405.2.2 repairs shall be done to restore the building to the pre-damaged status.  Strengthening beyond the current Code is not required.

 What design criteria may be used for repairs?

Repairs are permitted to restore the building to its pre-damage state, using material properties and design strengths applicable at the time of the original construction. All new structural members, connections and detailing used for this repair shall comply with provisions of this Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose and location.

Find out how Foundation Technology can assist you to meet the requirements and pass your evaluation with flying colors.

 To  learn  more  about  Foundation  Technology  and  the  services  we  offer Visit us on line at: https://foundationtechnology.com/ or call: 855.650.2211

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Let us repair your foundation permanently in as little as 3-7 days.  You can expect us to be quick, cost effective, eco-friendly and entirely non-disruptive. You won’t even know we’re here.

Foundation repair, concrete lifting, seismic retrofitting and structural support for residential, commercial and industrial applications in Los Angeles, California.

Inspections are always free.

Foundation Problems?  Get them fixed fast.

  • Sinking Floors
  • Uneven Floors
  • Stair-Step Cracks
  • Stuck Windows
  • Doors Won’t Shut
  • Tilting Chimney
  • Bulging Walls
  • Wall Cracks
  • Standing Water
  • Cracked Concrete

Contact Foundation Technology

You don’t need to replace your entire foundation.  Call us for a free inspection today.

Get your foundation repairs started today. 310-510-6223

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Don’t Let Foundation Issues Disrupt Your Daily Life

Foundation Technology offers concrete restoration within 3 – 7 business days! We offer fast, reliable and affordable work 25 years guaranteed.

Foundation repair, concrete lifting, seismic retrofitting and structural support for residential applications in Los Angeles, California.

To  learn  more  about  Foundation  Technology  and  the  services  we  offer Visit us on line at: https://foundationtechnology.com/ or call: 855.650.2211 

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Foundation Technology was contacted to provide repair solutions for an integral piece of machinery

 

Gerdau North America is one of the leading producers of Rebar in the United States. Rebar is used in bridges, buildings, skyscrapers, homes, warehouses, foundations and roads to increase the strength of the concrete and ultimately help hold up the structures. With construction booming, their product is in high demand.

Foundation Technology offered the following services:

  • Machinery Support
  • Leveling Pump Pad/Support Repair
  • Concrete Restoration
  • Heavy Machine Isolation
  • Epoxy Injection
  • Below Grade Waterproofing
  • Chemical Grouting Pressure Grouting Void Filling
  • Polyurethane Foam Slab Raising Geotechnical Foams Helical/Push Piers

For more information kindly download full article in pdf format.

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Safety Concerns in Abandoning Septic Systems, Seepage Pits, Cesspools, Drywells, even dug wells

Septic tanks, cesspools, and drywells present serious hazards including septic cave-in’s or collapses, methane gas explosion hazards, and asphyxiation hazards. Simple precautions which we describe here can help avoid a dangerous septic, cesspool, or drywell hazard.

In addition to having been consulted in fatalities involving humans, we have learned that falling into septic tanks and cesspools is a risk for animals as well. Readers should also see specific warnings about cesspools
at CESSPOOL SAFETY.

Watch out: for unsafe septic tanks and cesspools or drywells and for systems that were not properly abandoned. In 2008 Mark Cramer shared a report from an owner that that their horse fell into a septic tank and died tragically before it could be rescued.

The collapsing septic tank was not in the location which the owners thought it would be found, and clearly it had an unsafe cover. We were consulted in a Long Island death of an adult who fell into and was buried in a collapsing cesspool. And in 2012 we were contacted for comment involving the death of two boys who fell into and perished in an “abandoned” septic tank or cesspool that lacked a safe cover.
See SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY.

It is important to properly abandon un-used septic tanks, cesspools, or drywells. If an old septic tank, cesspool, or drywell is simply “left alone” there may be very serious cave-in or fall-in safety hazards.

Septic tank, drywell, or cesspool abandonment or tank closure may involve complete tank removal, tank crushing (steel septic tanks), or most common with site-built tanks/cesspools/drywells, and with concrete tanks, the cover is opened and the tank is filled-in with rubble and soil. Details of septic tank, cesspool, drywell abandonment procedures are discussed in this article.

Septic Tank Abandonment Choices

When a septic tank is no longer going to be used, various factors determine what will happen to the old tank:

  1. Cesspools & Drywells: If the old septic system component to be discontinued is a cesspool or drywell, and occasionally with septic tanks, the old tank might be left in place and “daisy chained” to the new one. This was common at country and farm properties that relied on a cesspool for onsite waste disposal.Owners hoped that the old system might still help a little with wastewater treatment and disposal even though it had stopped working. This approach is dangerous if the old system has an unsafe cover, is in danger of collapse, or is leaking where it should not be.
  2. Steel septic tanks are often removed, crushed, and buried back at the site, possibly below or alongside a new septic tank – details are below.
  3. Concrete septic tanks are often filled-in after holes are broken into the tank – details are below.
  4. Plastic or fiberglass septic tanks are a newer item with less experience in abandonment. If such a tank is badly damaged and leaky it needs to be removed and replaced. It may be possible to crush and bury such a tank as in the case of steel tanks.

To avoid the risk of a collapsing septic tank, cesspool, or drywell which is no longer used, it is important to find and properly close out such facilities at any property, residential or commercial. In the photo at the top of this page, the truck “found” an abandoned septic tank by driving over it.

 

 

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The effects of global warming are already upon us. Regardless of the cause, the effects are quite apparent to those who live on or near the shoreline. As an owner of beachfront property, I am assuming you are acutely aware of the potential damage or loss to your property due to high surf and the battering waves they bring. I also assume you have spent substantial amounts of money in often futile attempts to protect you beachfront investment from the impending waves and erosion. I imagine most have failed or offered little protection. Why do I know this?

Please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is S. G. “Jerry” Bronstrup.

I am the owner of Foundation Technology, a foundation repair company specializing in engineered solutions for the repair of residential and commercial foundations. We are experts at repairing foundations that fail due to erosion, settlement and the corrosive effects of the sea. I’ve spent considerable time along the California coast looking at the effects of the encroaching sea on beach front properties and have come to the following conclusion.

And bluntly; if you own a home along the Malibu beachfront, especially in the Malibu Colony, your foundation is in trouble. Concrete, wood, or steel pilings are no match for what the advancing sea has in store for your property.
In the past year, I personally visited and inspected six properties along the Malibu shoreline, all experiencing a high level of failure due to erosion, corrosion, and wave battering. While not every property was constructed the same, the common failure was the method in which most if not all structures were connected to the earth.


Simply put, the foundations of every property I inspected in Malibu showed signs of substantial failure.
In each case, I spent considerable time researching repair solutions that would mitigate the damage from pounding surf and the corrosive effect of sea water on wood, concrete, and steel structures that were evident on every single foundation I visited.

The level of ongoing corrosion and damage I found will cause catastrophic failure.

In fact, during a recent inspection after a rather high sea, the failure was indeed substantial enough to cause the foundation to be “scoured” away, and the support timbers for the second story to settle and cause substantial damage to the house.

The common cause; a combination of corrosion, erosion, and “scour” (the effects of tidal swell on pillars and/or caissons), is setting you up for an expensive repair. We’ve already seen the effect of ‘not’ doing anything. And we have also been witness to the failures of inferior repair procedures. Just take a look here!

Another contractor attempted to stop the onslaught of the waves as they pounded this beachfront home on PCH. You can see the results of their failure behind the seawall. Doesn’t seem like much until you realize what is above.

 

That’s the bottom of the swimming pool, completely exposed. A total loss!

The property owner decided not to utilize our services and instead hired a handyman to solve his problems. The resulting damage cost the property owner well over $100,000 to repair the damage….and they still didn’t repair the seawall or the real problem.

Engineered Repair and Renovation Services that are guaranteed to give you the best defense against Mother Nature.

Nobody can guarantee with certainty that the construction or renovation of you properties foundation or seawall will hold up against what Mother Nature can throw at you. But you can be certain that when you hire.

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A Look at Common Foundation Repair Methods: Seismic Retrofitting

Seismic retrofitting is a foundation repair method that involves the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to the effects of seismic activity, ground motion, or soil failure caused by earthquakes. In Los Angeles, a city that’s prone to higher occurrences of seismic activity, there is a city ordinance that mandates property owners to retrofit their homes, regardless of how old or newly-built these are. If they fail to comply, they can be fined stiff penalties while commercial property owners risk being shut down as well.

Some common seismic retrofitting techniques:

Foundation Bolting – This technique aims to strengthen the connection between a structural wood frame and a foundation made of concrete by bolting wood beams from the former into the latter. Doing so can decrease the risk of your home sliding off its foundation during an earthquake.

Helical and Push Piers – Strong steel piers are screwed or driven deep into the ground and then attached to the foundation. Ground movements can weaken or damage foundations, but with helical and push piers to provide additional structural support, your home or building will be stable enough to withstand the effects of the movement.

Cripple Wall Bracing – As the name suggests, this technique braces the cripple wall or short wall typically made of wood that extends from the foundation to the first floor. While the cripple wall provides support to the entire weight of the structure, it is also known to be the weakest and most vulnerable to earthquakes. Generally, the cripple wall is braced with metal to strengthen its connection to the foundation.

If you live in a high-risk area in California, like Los Angeles, contact us to get an inspection done by the leader in foundation repair, done by the most experienced team of experts in the industry. We provide a 100% free, no-obligation inspection service, and provide foundation repair systems for buildings that need to quake-proof their homes.

 

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One Trip Hazard too Many…

sidewalk

A quick Google search of “Trip and Fall Settlements in California” brought more than 500 personal injury lawyers and websites willing and quite able to represent you in the case of a trip and fall accident. Apparently it’s a pretty lucrative business.  Google actually listed 73,100,000 results with over 50,000 using the exact phrase.   The “trip and fall” business isn’t just lucrative, its big business, really big business.   More than 10,000 claims are made and settled each and every day.   Checking with the CDC, over one million Americans are injured and 17,000 are killed each year due to slip and fall accidents.

lawsuit

According to many legal sites, most from personal injury lawyers, the trip and fall “Trivial Defect Rule” covering sidewalks or other defects on public or private property originally dictated that the property owner is not liable for injuries sustained by individuals if the trip hazard was considered “trivial”.   Trivial usually meant the trip defect was any change in height less than 3/4 inch.  A few years back, a couple of rulings in California’s court of appeals changed all that. The court opinionated that all circumstances surrounding the trip and subsequent injury must be taken into account, expanding the parameters of the Trivial Defect Rule, and determined that measurement alone was not a basis for a trivial defect defense.

cracks

“What the heck does all that mean”?  Well, if you are a property owner, property manager, city manager, insurance agent, or lawyer representing property owners, HOA’s or any large business/public entity with public or private access, you might want to take a walk around the facilities and take note of the condition of your public access ways.  “Holy smokes”, there’s more than you imagined.  “Call my insurance agent, call my lawyer, call my contractor..” Oops…Property owners beware, there’s a target on your back and a personal injury lawyer that’s got you square in his sights, especially if you have a high traffic public walkway.  Bottom line here; “Fix That Trip Hazard”
With the astronomical costs associated with litigation, or settling even the smallest trip and fall accident, how many trip hazards at your location[s] is “one trip hazard too many”?   I suppose that will be determined by your pain threshold.   If someone actually is injured, most likely it will be determined by a court of law, and you will be the liable party.

While there are a multitude of trip hazards that can never be eliminated, the number one cause of trip and fall lawsuits nationwide, uneven sidewalks and public walkways, can be quickly and efficiently repaired in less than one hour. Back in the good old days of dirt paths and roadways, Mother Nature may have been the cause of grandma falling on her face, but grandma sure couldn’t sue the farmer whose path she crossed.  We all cursed the ground we walked on, nursed our wounds and moved on.  Today designer thruways and walkways built with concrete and stone are the shining glory of every community and property owner in America.   And thanks to Mother Nature they tend to move around quite a bit.  Maybe we shouldn’t have cursed her so much…

Trip Hazard. Gone in a flash…

Polyurethane foam concrete lifting is not a new technology.  In fact it’s been around for thirty years, but nobody seems to realize just how quick and effective it is in reducing sidewalk trip hazards.  In most cases it only takes less than one hour to lift or raise a concrete slab that has settled or sunk causing a trip hazard and allow foot or vehicle traffic back.  One hour from trip hazard to traffic again. The cost is generally about the same as removal and replacement but the benefits of eliminating a potential lawsuit immediately can be priceless.  Repair is simple.  Drill a few small holes.  Pump the polyurethane foam under the concrete slab.  The foam expands and lifts the walkway or roadway, (it’s already approved by the Dept of Transportation for lifting highways and interstates), and patch the holes when finished.  You can walk and/or drive on it immediately.  Trip hazard eliminated, lawsuit averted.  How much is that worth? A lot less than you’ll spend if it goes the other way….

fixtriphazards

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FoundationTechnology-truck

Recently Foundation Technology was contacted to repair some cracks in a below ground concrete vault that holds the hydraulic lift mechanism within a Midas Muffler shop. It seemed ground water had been seeping in through cracks in both of the fourteen inch wide by eight foot deep vaults that held the shops hydraulic car lifts. Since this is a car repair shop, quite often oil and other automotive chemicals either spilled or leaked into the partially filled pit of water creating a toxic soup that needed to be pumped on a regular basis. Two to three hundred gallons of chemical laden water were being pumped from the vaults on a regular basis. Not only was this a costly endeavor, the water and chemicals also caused the hydraulic machinery to prematurely corrode and fail. Apparently this case of “too much water” had been going on for some time. Pumping was just considered a cost of doing business.
This all came to a head when the building was recently sold to investors. During the escrow period, commercial real estate inspectors determined the water intrusion problem was not only hazardous to the equipment but also to the surrounding soil as chemicals also leached downhill from the vault into the soil below. “The cracks had to be repaired” was the verdict and the lender requirement for the new buyer.
Multiple contractors offering low-cost crack repair solutions were contacted by the sellers’ agent to “seal” the vault from water intrusion. Foundation Technology was also contacted to provide a bid.
There was at least three feet of water with a sheen of motor oil, and hydraulic fluid covering during the initial inspection. The interior walls of the vault were oil and grease coated prohibiting both detailed inspection of the concrete floor and walls as well as attempting any type of epoxy or silicone crack repair as offered by the other contractors. It was determined that seepage from nearby uphill condominium units were the probable cause of the excessive groundwater. (The vault was directly adjacent to the condo project and at least fifteen to twenty feet lower in grade). This resulted in a fairly steady pressure flow of water seepage. It was also evident from the strong rotten odor coming from the vaults, that the soil below was being contaminated by chemical leaching. Simply filling the cracks or applying negative waterproofing was completely out of the question.

INJECTING POLYURETHANE FOAM TO CREATE A POSITIVE WATERPROOFING SEALANT.

HMI 401G being injected in the vault floorHMI 401G being injected in the vault floor

Foundation Technology suggested injecting a plural component polyurethane foam capable of reacting in wet or high moisture applications to create a “positive” water sealant on the outside of the vaults. FT chose HMI’s 401G four pound foam for the project. 5/8” injection holes will drilled along the perimeter of the vault floors as well as on the walls where possible, (since access was fairly tight).

14 inches wide make for a tight working space
14 inches wide make for a tight working space

As the 401G polyurethane foam was injected in each port location, muddy water began to squirt up from the other holes. (As the foam expanded, it displaced the fairly large amount of water beneath the floor which quickly began to fill the vaults). We were actually surprised to see this amount of water coming from the injection port holes, especially in the drought conditions California is experiencing.
Both vaults were completely sealed in two days. After pumping by a hazmat service, the vault will be acid washed and injection holes filled with a hydraulic cement. Additionally a sealant will be applied to the interior to help contain the chemical leaching.
Foundation Technology offers engineered solutions and geotechnical construction/repair for commercial and residential applications. We specialize in soil stabilization, foundation repair, and helical/push pier installation. Foundation Technology provide services in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

For more information or to request a solution to your particular problem, please contact; Nicole Wahnon (nicole@foundationTechnology.com)
Foundation Tech, Inc.
d.b.a. Foundation Technology
25020 Avenue Stanford, Unit 110
Santa Clarita, California 91355
Toll Free. 855.650.2211
Local. 661.294.1313
www.FoundationTechnology.com

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