HomeAboutBlogLos Angeles Earthquake Retrofitting
Los Angeles Earthquake Retrofitting

Los Angeles Earthquake Retrofitting

May 8, 2023


Earthquake retrofitting is a vital consideration for property owners in seismically active areas like Los Angeles. This blog provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the importance of retrofitting, the risks associated with earthquakes, and how retrofitting can protect your property. We’ll discuss the components of earthquake retrofitting, including foundation bolting, cripple wall bracing, and soft-story retrofits. Additionally, we’ll cover Los Angeles’ earthquake retrofitting regulations and the Mandatory Retrofit Program for specific building types. Lastly, we’ll provide advice on hiring a qualified retrofitting professional to ensure your property is safeguarded against potential earthquake damage. By investing in earthquake retrofitting, you can enhance your property’s safety and long-term value.


Earthquake retrofitting is essential for property owners in seismically active regions like Los Angeles. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of retrofitting, the risks associated with earthquakes, and the benefits of protecting your property. By understanding the need for retrofitting and implementing the necessary measures, you can enhance your property’s safety and long-term value.

What is Earthquake Retrofitting?

Earthquake retrofitting involves reinforcing a building’s structure to make it more resistant to seismic activity. The primary goal of retrofitting is to minimize the risk of damage and collapse during an earthquake, ensuring the safety of occupants and protecting the property owner’s investment. By retrofitting a building, you can significantly reduce the potential damage and subsequent repair costs following an earthquake.

Los Angeles Seismic Hazards

Los Angeles is located in an area with significant seismic hazards due to its proximity to multiple fault lines. The city has experienced several notable earthquakes throughout its history, resulting in substantial damage to buildings and infrastructure. By understanding the seismic risks associated with living in Los Angeles, property owners can make informed decisions about the necessary retrofitting measures to protect their investments.

Key Components of Earthquake Retrofitting

Foundation Bolting

Foundation bolting is a crucial aspect of earthquake retrofitting that involves securing the building to its foundation. This process helps prevent the structure from sliding off its foundation during seismic activity. There are different types of foundation bolts, including expansion bolts and epoxy-set bolts, each serving a specific purpose in retrofitting projects.

Cripple Wall Bracing

Cripple walls are short walls that connect a building’s foundation to the first-floor framing. These walls can be weak points in a structure and are susceptible to collapse during earthquakes. Cripple wall bracing involves reinforcing these walls with plywood or steel to provide additional support and stability during seismic events.

Soft-Story Retrofits

Soft-story buildings are structures with one or more floors that have large openings, such as windows or doors, making them more vulnerable to collapse during earthquakes. Retrofitting soft-stories involve reinforcing these vulnerable areas with steel frames or shear walls, increasing the building’s resistance to seismic forces.

Los Angeles Earthquake Retrofitting Regulations

In response to the region’s seismic risks, the city of Los Angeles has implemented retrofitting ordinances aimed at improving building safety. The Mandatory Retrofit Program targets soft-story and non-ductile concrete buildings, requiring property owners to make necessary upgrades to meet current seismic safety standards. By complying with these regulations, property owners can help ensure the safety of their buildings and occupants.

Hiring a Retrofitting Professional

Working with a qualified retrofitting contractor is essential to ensure that your property is properly protected against earthquakes. When selecting a contractor, look for experience, a proven track record, and the necessary certifications to complete the job. Additionally, seek recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews to find a reliable and reputable retrofitting expert.


Earthquake retrofitting is a crucial consideration for property owners in Los Angeles. By understanding the risks associated with earthquakes and implementing appropriate retrofitting measures, you can protect your property and investment. Be proactive about retrofitting your property to ensure its safety and long-term value in a seismically active region like Los Angeles.