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MGA Construction Company

Foundation Not Anchored

The Problem

When an earthquake moves a house from side to side and up and down, the house can move off its foundation if it is not anchored. This can cause a fire from broken gas lines, and damage the foundation, floors, walls, windows, and other utility connections as well as the contents of the home. It is very expensive to lift a house up, put it back on its foundation, and repair this damage.

How to Identify It

If the first floor of the house is built off the ground, the area between the first floor and the ground is called the crawl space. Look in the crawl space for the heads of anchor bolts that fasten the sill plate-the wood board that sits directly on top of the foundation-securely to the foundation (see Figure). You should be able to see the large nuts, washers, and anchor bolts installed every 4 to 6 feet along the sill plate, or bent steel plates, connecting the foundation to the home.

What Can Be Done

Drill holes through the sill plate and into the foundation and install special bolts, or install steel plates, connecting the foundation to the sill plate of the home.

Figure - A home's crawl space may be formed by a cripple wall plus foundation or the floor joists may rest directly on the sill plate, as illustrated here. In either case, you should be able to see the heads of anchor bolts, installed every 4 to 6 feet, that fasten the sill plate to the foundation.

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