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construction problems in Los Angeles neighborhoods
the homes in Los Angeles were built using older construction techniques
which are inadequate for the forces we now know earthquakes can
cause; but, these older homes can be reinforced easily and inexpensively.
homes are typical victims ...
Homes built prior to 1940 in Los Angeles were built without being
bolted to their foundations. Without this anchorage, a large earthquake
can move the ground and the foundation right out from under the
house. Older homes were damaged or destroyed in this manner by every
major earthquake in California's history.
but earthquakes can cripple modern, anchored homes too
frame homes built as recently as the 1970s were shaken off their
foundations in recent earthquakes. Even
though these modern homes were bolted down, they failed because
of weak bracing materials on the cripple walls. The cripple wall
is a short wall that connects the foundation to the first floor
of the house and encloses the "crawl space." Weak bracing materials,
like cement plaster (stucco) or wood siding, are not strong enough
to survive the force of moderate to strong earthquakes. The cripple
wall must be braced with stronger materials like plywood. If not,
the next earthquake may damage the cripple wall and move your home
off its foundation, even if you've bolted it down.
OK ... now it's time to take that survey ...