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Bay Area Retrofit Mission & History

Bay Area Earthquake Probabilities and Consequences

One of the 4 houses below looks like yours. See what kind of retrofit you need.

Houses Supported by Cripple Walls

If your house has more than 3 steps into the front or back doors you probably have a cripple wall.  This is a short wall between the foundation and the floor you walk on.  Unbraced cripple walls can collapse in earthquakes.  Preventing collapse is the purpose of a cripple wall retrofit.

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Houses without Cripple Walls

If you have no more than 1 or 2 steps leading into the front and back doors you will be able to attach the floor directly to the foundation with steel.  After these houses are securely attached to their foundations they are probably the safest and most most protected houses of all.

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Houses with Living Area Above the Garage

Homes with living areas above a garage are hazardous because the garage door openings can collapse with catastrophic consequences.  This condition is called a soft story and the only thing that can keep this damage from occurring is a soft story retrofit.

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Houses on a Steep Hillside

Home built on steep lots are very prone to catastrophic damage where fatalities can and do occur.   Hillside home retrofits must follow a special building code that is practically unknown in the Bay Area.  Very few seismic retrofit contractors know how to install hillside home retrofits.

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