Do you have any idea if the house foundation is bolted or not? Bolting refers to a seismic retrofit that is used to secure a home’s foundation concrete and mudsill. Mudsill refers to the horizontal wood which sits on top foundation. It is the bottom portion of an exterior wall which connects the house frame with the footing. Mudsills not connected (or badly connected) to the basement will start to shift during an earthquake, along with walls attached to them. This can cause the gas lines to rupture and electrical wiring to come out. Even the floors may be damaged. If the shaking becomes severe, it is possible that the entire structure will collapse. The home won’t slide and slip when the mudsills is securely bolted down to the foundation. In 1949 the Uniform Code required that a house be bolted to its foundation. It took the local government almost ten year to implement code. In consequence, many homes built before the 1960s have not been bolted onto their foundations. Without bolting the foundation, an earthquake may cause the home to shake off.
To check if the mudsill on your home is bolted, go to your crawlspace or your basement and look for thick screws across the top. You should find bolts about every 4 to 8 feet. The edge of the sill should be connected to the foundation by steel anchors. The bolts will need replacing if they are rusted. Rusted bolts occur more often in areas with high moisture content. Look out for recessed or recessed bolts. To get the nuts on, you need to chisel out the mudsill that surrounds the bolts if they are not high enough. This can make it very difficult to tighten the nut and to install any anchor plates. Replace all recessed bolts. It is important to note the depth that bolts penetrate into concrete. There are both standard and minimal depth requirements, depending on the anchor bolts. A foundation specialist can tell if anchor bolts are positioned at the right level.
A tight space makes it difficult to replace the bolts. A foundation repair expert knows which bolts are in need of replacement and has all the tools required to do it right. Bolting is just one aspect of retrofitting. Even homes bolted to the foundation can suffer major damage if they have not been properly braced. The cripplewall is the wall that separates the first floor from the foundation. Cripple walls require reinforcement, like plywood. Stucco siding and wood siding are not strong enough to support walls. Contact a foundation contractor and ask them to perform a complimentary inspection. Foundation repair experts can help you save time, money and even potential damage caused by the next earthquake.