Soft Story Retrofitting Inglewood
The city of Inglewood is located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. In the beginning Inglewood was an agricultural town with a small population. During World War ll, it became the home for many defense industries which changed the town into an urban community. Today, the city is thriving metropolis with modern skyscrapers and upscale residential neighborhoods. Like most towns and cities in California, they also have a long history of earthquakes. Owners in the area were probably sent a notice to take part in Los Angeles’s new soft-story retrofit program.
Like many other towns, Inglewood was heavily affected by the Northgate Earthquake of 1994. At a magnitude of 6.7 many of the city’s buildings collapsed and whole neighborhoods were ruined. The town itself has experienced many quakes, most quite mild, since 1931. But after the Northgate Earthquake of 1994, the city of Los Angeles updated their soft-story building policies to help prevent future damage and loss of life.
After the 1994, quake was over, city officials toured the area to assess the damage and create a plan for future earthquakes. Structures built after that earthquake should be up to code on the new safety measures enacted. But it wasn’t until recently that the city updated its policies on existing buildings. If your building was constructed before 1994, you will want to call one of the soft-story retrofit contractors in Inglewood and get your retrofit started.
How do I know if I have a soft-story building?
When Los Angeles city officials were inspecting the damage of the Northgate Earthquake, they found that soft-story buildings were hit the hardest. A soft-story building is any structure that has more than three floors and is built above ground level. The lowest floor usually includes a large, open space, like a parking garage, or has doors and windows. Newer structures have a sheer wall that is designed to withstand earthquakes and high winds. Many of the existing buildings either don’t have this wall or the wall is not thick enough for the current safety standards.
In the case of a strong earthquake, the floors above the ground level have a higher chance of collapsing upon themselves. This can lead to loss of property and even loss of life. This is especially true for apartment dwellings, which were hard hit in the 1994 quake. The best way to know for sure if you need to have a soft-story retrofit done to your property is to call a professional.
If you look up Soft Story Retrofit Contractor in Los Angeles, you will find a number of companies listed, like RetroFitting 360. They serve the greater Los Angeles area and are highly trained for this type of job. If you choose to hire Retrofitting 360, you will be guaranteed a professional contractor who will walk you through every step of the retrofit process.
Why do I need a retrofit now?
No one knows when an earthquake is going to hit, or where. Los Angeles city officials have set a deadline for 2022, when all soft-story buildings constructed before 1994, need to be brought up to code. If you are a landlord, this is doubly important. It is up to you to maintain the safety of your building. Many family members sued landlords after the Northgate Earthquake and won. You do not want to be responsible for a tenant’s loss of life or have to face an expensive lawsuit.
What is involved in the process?
A lot of work is needed to complete the retrofit process, so don’t wait until the last minute to get started. Have your chosen contractor complete an assessment of your building as soon as you can. Once that is done they will create a detailed work plan for you that includes all of the repairs needed, an estimated cost, a time frame to finish the work. The next step is to acquire all of the necessary permits from the city so the work can begin.
A retrofit may be as simple as adding more steel beams to a parking garage, or more complex, like extending the sheer wall. You need to hire a professional contractor who has the training and skills needed for this type of job. Retrofitting 360 contractors are knowledgeable about the new building policies and will deliver the job effectively, professionally and affordably. After the work is complete, a city inspector will come out and make sure your structure meets the current safety standards. Remember, it is not about if another earthquake will hit Inglewood, but when.