Hi, I’m Zach, and I work for Anchorstrong Contruction. If you’re a homeowner, or a potential home buyer, you may have a couple questions or concerns about your home’s foundation. Southern California is earthquake country, so it’s important to make sure our foundations are in good order. Today, I’m in Los Angeles and I’m going to take a look at and older home, and see if I can find and problems or potential issues that might put this house at risk.
On the inside of the house you can look for sloping floors, maybe windows and doors that are sticking, perhaps cracks in the walls or exterior stucco. Those are all indicators of potential foundation problems below.
I’ve already been inside this home and have seen those indicators, so now I’m going to crawl underneath, and see what’s going on.
Once I get into the crawlspace area, I like to make my way to the perimeter walls. The majority of the weight of the structure is supported at the perimeter, so naturally these areas are going to be most important. Of course, when I inspect a foundation, I’m looking for lots and lots of different things. Today, however, I’m just going to point out a few.
As you can see, it’s a little tight down here…and quite dirty. Once I’ve made my way to the perimeter walls, there’s a few things I look for. The first thing I look for is where the house meets the foundation. If your structure was built in the 1960s or prior, you may be lacking the adequate connections from the house to the foundation. This structure right here, you can see has no attachments at all. Which begs to ask the question, other than gravity, what’s holding the structure here?
The second thing I look for is if a structure has cripple walls. A cripple wall is a wood-frame wall that separates the house from the foundation. Now, if you don’t have these walls, great. But if you do, they need to be properly braced. Cripple walls earned the nickname because they’re known to be crippling to structures. These walls allow for unnecessary side-to-side or racking movement within the house, which again could cause damage to your foundation and could also put your home at risk in the event of an earthquake.
After that, the next thing I like to look for is right up here, where we have our floor system attaching to the top of the cripple wall. As you can see, this structure is missing all three connections, and we have a very large crack right here in the concrete stem wall. If you’re missing any of these three connections, it could be a recipe for disaster. It can also cause a significant amount of damage and stress to your existing foundation. If you’re concerned about any of the items that we talked about today, give us a call for a free inspection or visit us online at anchorstrongconstruction.com.