The words sand, surf and stars are often used to describe the state of California. But the state is also known for its earthquakes. Every year the earth shifts and moves causing a mild shake to an all-out quake. Most people know that a major quake will devastate structures including highways, office buildings and homes. But even a small quake can cause cracks that will leave a building vulnerable overtime. After the major earthquake in 1994, the Los Angeles area implemented new policies around soft story retrofitting to ensure that the city’s structures would be prepared for future quakes. The city of Malibu is no exception.

Known as the the 'Bu, the neighborhood sits north west of the city of Los Angeles. The city is home to some of the excellent public schools. But many of these schools and other buildings were built before 1994 and would not be safe during a significant quake now. If you own, or are responsible for, an older structure in the neighborhood you will need to get it assessed by a reliable retrofitting contractor.

If you are needing to bring your home of office up to the newest building standards, you can easily find a number of Retrofit Contractors in Malibu. Or you can make the job easier by calling RetroFitting 360. This specialized company serves Northbridge and surrounding areas and they will ensure your building is up to code while maintaining safety and cost effectiveness.

What qualifies as a soft story building?

A soft-story building is any building that has more than three floors and is built over ground level. The ground level of this type of building includes windows and doors and possible commercial spaces. So that the building remains stable there is a shear wall built to the structure.  Any of the buildings built before 1994 in the Northbridge area are considered to a risk if another major earthquake occurs.

In older structures the first floor of a building will not have sufficient shear walls. During an earthquake the floors could begin to collapse on each other. If the building includes parking garages, or other open spaces, it is likely the beams used during construction are not strong enough to hold up during a major quake.  These older buildings are not safe places to be during a significant earthquake.

Landlord’s in particular need to make sure their apartment buildings meet the current retrofitting standards. If you are not sure about your building, you can get one of the Soft Story Retrofit Contractors in Malibu to come out and inspect it. You are responsible for keeping your tenants safe and in many cases tenants harmed by a natural disaster filed lawsuits on apartment owners and won. To avoid unnecessary loss of life or needless lawsuits we can help ensure that your apartments are up to current soft-story retrofit policies.

What comes next?

The new policy states that all retrofits must be finished by the year 2022. A lot of work and steps are involved in the process, so don’t wait until the last minute to get started.  Once you have the assessment completed, you can begin to bring your building up to code. Retrofit 360 will help with the entire process. After the assessment, the contractor will create a plan detailing what work needs to be done to make your building safe. This could include adding shear walls and steel frames. Once the retrofitter has a plan in place then we can get the necessary permits to begin the work.

Once all of the work has been completed, the next step is to get the job inspected to make sure that it will be safe in the event of a major earthquake. After the inspection is complete, you will receive a full report. Time is running out to ensure that your building will be up to the new standards by 2022, so you need to begin the process right away. RetroFitting 360 are experts in their field. Their contractors are knowledgeable about the soft-story retrofit policies and will deliver the job effectively, professionally and affordably. It is not a matter of if another major earthquake will occur in your area, but just a matter of when.

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